House of Assembly: Vol3 - THURSDAY 28 MARCH 1985


announced that he had called a joint sitting of the three Houses of Parliament for Monday, 15 April, at 14h15, for the delivering of Second Reading speeches on certain Bills.


laid upon the Table:

  1. (1) National Roads Amendment Bill [No 74—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Transport Affairs).
  2. (2) Prevention and Combating of Pollution of the Sea by Oil Amendment Bill [No 75—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Transport Affairs).
  3. (3) Social and Associated Workers Amendment Bill [No 76—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Health and Welfare).

To be referred to the appropriate Standing Committees, unless the House decides otherwise within three sitting days.


as Chairman, presented the Second Report of the Standing Select Committee on Law and Order, relative to the Control of Access to Public Premises and Vehicles Bill [No 49—85 (GA)], as follows:

The Standing Committee on Law and Order, having considered the subject of the Control of Access to Public Premises and Vehicles Bill [No 49—85 (GA)], referred to it, your Committee begs to report the Bill with amendments [No 49A— 85 (GA)].



Committee Rooms


27 March 1985.

Bill to be read a second time.


as Chairman, presented the Third Report of the Standing Select Committee on Finance, relative to the Appropriation Bill [No 68—85 (GA)], as follows:

The Standing Committee on Finance having considered the subject of the Appropriation Bill [No 68—85 (GA)], referred to it, your Committee wishes to report as follows:
  1. 1. In terms of Joint Rule 41 the Standing Committee on Finance deliberated on the Appropriation Bill on six days and heard evidence on the general policy motivating the proposals made by the Minister of Finance in respect of proposed expenditure, revenue to be levied and loans to be raised, and in addition heard evidence from most of the heads of State Departments and other officials in respect of their votes and the programmes thereunder. The Committee records its thanks to the officials for their contributions. The evidence given has been recorded, will be made available to the Committee in typed form, and will thereafter be printed and tabled.
  2. 2. The Committee regards the new procedure as advantageous to the budgetary process, but by reason of the large volume of matters to be covered, it was necessary to drastically limit the time to discuss the individual votes. In addition, as a result of the endeavour to hear as many witnesses as possible, very little time was available for deliberations. In order to overcome these problems and to assist other members of Parliament, it is recommended that—
    1. (i) in future Departments be asked to make available to all members of Parliament, together with the printed Estimates of Expenditure, memoranda explaining the reasons for alterations in the programmes and expenditure; and
    2. (ii) members of the Standing Committee be permitted to deliver to the Secretary to Parliament lists of written questions to which they seek answers so that Departments may prepare prior to their appearance before the Committee, and so that proceedings can be expedited, without affecting the right of members at a meeting of the Committee to ask questions of which they have not given notice.
  3. 3. The Standing Committee received a number of written representations from the public, which it has considered. There has, however, not been occasion to hear oral evidence from the public, but it is believed that as the public becomes more accustomed to the procedure, such representations will increase and time will have to be found to satisfy such circumstances within the period allowed by the rules for the deliberations of the Committee.
  4. 4. The Committee decided that it should not make recommendations which could be regarded as being of a party political nature and which could be better ventilated in the Second Reading Debate on the Appropriation Bill.
  5. 5. The Committee does, however, consider that certain matters which are of consequence and which should either be reconsidered by the Minister of Finance or be considered by Parliament, should be reported upon.

The comments made are not intended to be comprehensive and represent only some of the matters which are clearly established by the evidence and in respect of which there was consensus on the Committee.

In the light of the aforegoing, your Committee wishes to place the following before the House for consideration:

  • 5.1 The Committee wishes to express its approval of the policy relating to the increase in social and Military veterans’ pensions, which will accelerate the process of equalizing pensions for all races.

The Committee received representations from an ex-service organization to advance the date on which the increases for war veterans become effective, and recommends that if it is financially possible and practical, the Minister of Finance endeavour to meet this request.

  • 5.2 The evidence given to the Committee creates serious misgivings in respect of matters relating to decentralization and the variety of departments involved in the application of policies of job creation. The Committee does not believe that the present open-ended position should be allowed to continue, and the funds to be voted should, if so voted, be carefully monitored.
  • 5.3 The Committee draws attention to the following statement from the Treasury relating to salaries:

The Office of the Commission for Administration has indicated that the total salary account of the Central Government for 1985 and 1986 is estimated at R7 844,5 million and R9 300 million, respectively. If the savings on personnel-related expenditure of R471,1 million (plus-minus R417 million of that still has to be reflected in the printed Estimates of Expenditure) are taken into account, the figure for 1985 will amount to R8 828,9 million, or an increase of 12,5%. Approximately 7% of that can be ascribed to the carry-over costs of the improvement in the situation of educators, leaving an increase of approximately 5,5% for increments, promotions and increases in numbers.

  • 5.4 The Committee also finds it necessary to draw attention to the evidence given concerning the situation in respect of Black local government institutions, and that despite substantial increases in expenditure for Black education, the shortage of trained teachers and classroom accommodation remains serious.
  • 5.5 Attention is also particularly directed to the evidence given in respect of accrued and not yet established losses in respect of foreign exchange, which have assumed very substantial proportions.
  • 5.6 The Committee believes that the question of privatization needs to be carefully investigated before action is taken, regard being had to all the social, political and economic considerations.
  • 5.7 In view of the limited resources of the country to apply to research, action should be taken to avoid duplication and ensure co-ordination and maximum utilization of such resources.
  • 5.8 The evidence taken by the Committee indicates that a re-examination of allocation of programmes and functions would be advantageous.
  • 5.9 In the light of the present campaigns relating to disinvestment in South Africa and matters relating to the country’s trade, the country’s diplomatic missions in a number of countries should be strengthened.
  • 5.10 The Committee accepts with pleasure the Minister’s proposals for monitoring on a continuing basis the Budget as reflected in the different programmes.



Committee Rooms


27 March 1985.

Report, proceedings and evidence to be printed.


Mr Speaker, I move:

  1. (a) a Select Committee be appointed to form part of a Joint Committee to inquire into and report upon—
    1. (i) the manner in which satisfactory pension benefits can be provided for or assistance can be given to that section of the public which has no or insufficient pension cover;
    2. (ii) the compulsory preservation of pension rights by means of transferability or otherwise;
    3. (iii) the commutation of a part of lump-sum benefits into annuities; and matters relating thereto;
  2. (b) the written and oral evidence which served before the Select Committee on Pension Benefits be referred to the Joint Committee for consideration; and
  3. (c) the Joint Committee have power to take evidence, call for papers and submit legislation.

Agreed to.


Mr Speaker, I feel a certain sympathy for the hon the Minister of the Budget…


Yes, so do we! [Interjections.]


… because he will have to react to a debate that has been going on for three days and in which nothing has been said with reference to the Appropriation itself from the opposition side. [Interjections.]


It is not possible for them to do so either!


The only hon member of the Official Opposition who came anywhere near the subject was the hon member for Yeoville. Incidentally, I got the impression that the hon member for Yeoville allowed himself to be deluded to a large extent by a small group of the agitators and intimidators in his party and among the general public, who eventually caused him to depart from his normal procedure, which is to give his full attention to the matter actually being dealt with here. [Interjections.]

I must say to their credit that I believe the hon members of the NRP—the hon member for Umbilo and the hon member for Durban Point—really succeeded in making positive and constructive contributions.

We are now dealing with an Appropriation of R2,2 billion which in reality—when one looks at the general Appropriation—represents, with the exception of three of four, the largest single item in that Appropriation. When the other sectors are later added to this, I am convinced that it will very soon become the largest single item in the general Appropriation.

The hon members of the Conservative Party have in their speeches thus far—and this includes the hon member for Kuruman as well as the hon member for Barberton and the hon member for Lichtenburg—contributed absolutely nothing to the debate, except for their discussion of matters dealing specifically with agriculture. Indeed, they raised some very interesting points regarding agriculture. I am convinced, however, that if they compared the actual details of what they mentioned with what the hon member for Prieska actually said in his speech, they would realize that there are two totally divergent points of view in this respect.

This, however, is not what it is all about. Those three hon members in fact devoted their whole discussion to the question of whether 5% of the Appropriation was for own affairs. One of the hon members later conceded that as provincial own affairs are transferred, a figure of 16% could perhaps be reached. At that stage the local authorities had not yet been considered. The hon member for Turffontein later pointed out that it might even reach 36%. The fact is, however, that if there is only 5% for own affairs, it means that there is 95% for general affairs. If there is, for example, 16% for own affairs, there is 84% for general affairs. Do those hon members agree with me? They cannot do otherwise because this is a fact.

*Mr C UYS:

Yes, 16 + 84 = 100! [Interjections.]


That is correct, yes. My question to the hon CP members is have they really considered matters and started to examine their own consciences. If it is true that 85% or 95% is for general affairs, surely it would be extremely selfish to think that 5 million Whites will always try to demand and obtain everything for themselves? [Interjections.] Those hon members devoted three speeches to their contempt for own affairs. I am simply turning it around and asking them whether it is reasonable—if they have so much contempt for it—that such a large percentage should be controlled by them alone. [Interjections.] If those hon members had not been Whites—and I am not referring here to Dr Heese’s book—would they have been satisfied with that? What is the real issue? Surely for us in this country it is a matter of the preservation of a civilized norm? It is a question of the preservation of a Christian, civilized norm in South Africa.

*Mr C UYS:

It is a question of the preservation of a White nation.


If we try to pursue a policy of selfishness in this country, we will be heading for absolute confrontation and revolution. Surely one must take cognizance of the warning lights flashing all around us? Surely we have no choice but to take cognizance of such warning lights? [Interjections.] It is either a policy of capitulation or a policy of confrontation and revolution; or it is a policy of realism in which we will grant to others what we demand for ourselves. That is how simple the matter is. [Interjections.] The fact is that whether we will be able to maintain the position of leadership in this country will depend on us alone.

Yesterday the hon member for Standerton referred to Youth Year. What is Youth Year actually concerned with? The theme of Youth Year is involvement, development and peace. If we are not able to involve the leaders of tomorrow, if we are not able to involve them in the governing of the country, in the social situation of the country, and in the economy, we have no chance of developing all our people in this country. If we do not all develop, we are never going to achieve real peace in this country.

I should very much like to mention two small points in the education of our leaders of tomorrow, which fall specifically under the hon the Minister of the Budget and his colleagues. I should like to put forward two ideas regarding the question of the awarding of bursaries.

In the past the awarding of bursaries depended, in my opinion, on two factors. In the first place we would have awarded a bursary to a gifted scholar and, in the second place, to a needy scholar. I am afraid that nowadays the situation is getting completely out of hand. There are certain fields in which students nowadays no longer study if they do not get a bursary, while there are also fields of study in which it is very difficult for a student ever to get a bursary. There are also many examples of parents who simply feel that they want to pay for their children’s education themselves.

I think there is an anomaly in that the parent who receives a bursary for the education of his child has a double advantage because he receives the money for his child’s studies and he pays no tax on it while, on the other hand, the parent who pays for his child’s education himself, because he cannot get a bursary—perhaps his child is not gifted enough—or feels that he wants to pay for his child’s education himself, has no option but to pay for it with money on which he is already paying tax. I should very much like to ask the Department of Finance to give very serious attention to this anomaly, which has developed over the years. [Interjections.]

There is a second anomaly in that a student cannot be admitted to most of the teachers’ colleges that fall under the hon the Minister of Education and Culture, and especially in the Cape—I assume this is also the case throughout the country—if he does not have a bursary from that department. As far as I am concerned, this is a completely unreasonable situation. There are many parents who do not find it necessary to get bursaries for their children’s education. Those parents now have no option but to apply for a bursary against their better judgment—eventually the parents simply use that money to buy the child a car or something else he does not need. A situation has developed in which many of our colleges are underutilized as a result of there not being enough bursaries to fill their quotas.

I feel that the hon the Minister of the Budget should really give this matter his earnest attention. A related factor is that education departments obviously—with a view to the demographic development of the numbers of students and scholars—must purposely try to keep down the number of teachers, and therefore not give bursaries.

The result of this is that a parent who wants to send his child to college—and even wants to pay for that child—purely to make a better person of that child or, eventually, to make a better mother, in many cases cannot in fact get his child admitted to such a college.

Then one has the further anomaly that many of those students can in fact be admitted to a university when the parent himself pays, only to come into competition in the end with a student who studied at a college, and get a post at the expense of the child who did studied with a bursary.

Consequently, I should very much like to ask the hon the Minister of the Budget to give serious attention to the taxability of bursaries in general and to this whole system of quotas at colleges.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Paarl raised a couple of interesting points in relation to education and bursaries. He will understand it if I do not proceed along that line because it is my intention to react briefly to the unprecedented and dramatic intervention of the State President in yesterday’s proceedings. I understand that because of other commitments the State President is not able to be here today, but I am pleased that the hon the Minister of Home Affairs is present because as the current crown prince of the NP he will pass on this information to the State President. [Interjections.]

The intervention of the State President yesterday was unprecedented but it did three important things. Firstly, it shattered the illusion which this new Constitution tries to create that there is such a thing in South Africa as White, Coloured and Indian own affairs. While the debate about South Africa has been raging inside and outside this House, the five Ministers of the White Ministers’ Council have sat like five pathetic shipwrecked sailors on a small ethnic island that has been defined for them by the present Constitution. They have attempted to regulate health, education, social welfare etc on the basis of apartheid and White exclusiveness, while the waves of a turbulent South Africa wash over them, thus proving the irrelevance of their ministries. In truth, all affairs in South Africa are South African affairs.

Secondly, the State President’s dramatic intervention highlighted the farce which we are acting out by conducting the debate on the critical situation of South Africa in separate Houses and without the presence of a single representative of the Black communities of South Africa. The farce of separate debates and the danger of Black exclusion must be ended, and must be ended quickly if we are going to live in safety in South Africa.

If the Government does not do this, the unseemly and embarrassing ringing of the bells and the rearranging of the chairs in this Assembly every time we have to listen to the State President or a Cabinet Minister will achieve no more for South Africa than the rearranging of the chairs on the decks of the Titanic achieved for the ill-fated passengers on that ship which they thought was unsinkable.

Thirdly, the State President’s intervention yesterday has drawn attention in a dramatic way to the seriousness of the multiple crisis facing South Africa. Other debates have emphasized the economic and international aspects. Yesterday the State President’s intervention, whether he realized it or not, highlighted the essential element of crisis in political management in South Africa.

The State President committed himself to reform. We welcome that re-commitment. We in these benches will support every move to dismantle the structure of apartheid in South Africa. At the same time the State President committed himself to maintain law, order and stability. The Government sees reform on the one hand, and stability on the other, as two separate and two parallel issues whereas in fact they are totally interrelated and totally integrated.

The reality is that there will be no stability in South Africa unless there is fundamental, deep and urgent reform away from apartheid and discrimination. Too often in the past the Government, in focusing its attention on law and order, has forgotten to focus its attention on the more important element of reform.

The irony of the State President’s speech yesterday was that he was actually saying that the Government had so far failed to provide the basis for stability in South Africa. It is as well that we ask ourselves at this critical stage what has gone wrong.

I want to suggest three things: Firstly, there is a tragic breakdown in communication between the Government and those whom it governs. There has been an improvement in certain peripheral areas but too often the Government has selected the people with whom it wants to talk. Too often these people have been the choice of the White government and not the choice of the Black people. Too often, tragically, the mouthpiece of the Government has been the muzzle of a gun. [Interjections.] Too often and tragically this has been the situation in South Africa.

I want to ask the hon the Ministers on the other side of the House a question. They were aware that tensions in the Eastern Cape had been running high and had been erupting for the past six months. What did the political leaders—forget the Police—on that side of the House do to try to deal with the situation? How many of them went along and actually discussed the problem with the representatives of the Black people in that area? What did the political leaders do? The Government must stop hiding behind the Police. They must get out, they are the political leaders and they have to solve the problems of South Africa.


You are part of the problem! [Interjections.]


The hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning was in Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth shortly before the shootings. Did he see the Police? Did he see the leaders of the Black community? Did he try to find out the truth of what was happening in that community? I want to remind the hon the Minister of the words of the president of the South African Foundation in his recent address. He is no agitator or enemy of South Africa. He said:

Does our Government know how the ordinary law-abiding citizen in the riot-torn Black townships thinks the problem should be tackled? Does it know what priorities and time frames the majority of Blacks would settle for in a planned programme of reform and the dismantling of discrimination? The real voice of the people of South Africa is not being heard in the world forums because we are not reaching out to each other here at home.

He ended by saying:

The Government must listen as well as speak.

Unless this Government opens up purposeful and direct communications with the leaders whom the Black people acknowledge to be their leaders, it is going to stumble on from error to error and from disaster to disaster, taking South Africa from one crisis to another.

Secondly, a yawning gap exists between the State President’s declared intentions and the Government’s actions. There are two realities, namely the declared intentions of the State President and the actions of the Government. It is fine to talk about home-ownership and orderly urbanization and getting rid of negative discriminatory measures; that is one reality. The other reality was 18 dead in Crossroads. It is fine to talk about getting rid of discrimination. That is good, but the other reality is the townships going up in flames. It is fine to talk of releasing Mandela so that the process of negotiation could start; that is one reality. The other reality is to arraign 18 members of UDF before the courts for high treason and prevent the process of negotiation from starting.

Unless the State President and his Government can close the gap between his declared intentions on the one hand and the Government’s actions on the other—and actions speak louder than intentions—this Government has no hope of solving either our external or internal problems.

Thirdly, there is a problem of a historical nature which is visited upon members of the Government at the moment. There is the tragic legacy of misdirected policies and wasted years, years during which the policies and actions of this Government have combined to increase Black resentment and frustration and to strengthen the position of radicals within the Black community. That has been the consequence of Government policy over the past 25 years. I start with Sharpeville; I do not even go beyond that.

In the wake of protests and the shootings at Sharpeville, Paul Sauer said in this House that the pass laws should go. With Sharpeville a page had been turned over and a new chapter in South Africa’s history had commenced. After all these years, the pass laws are still on the Statute Book of South Africa. For 25 years Black South Africans have been living under the constant threat of losing their South African citizenship. That threat will remain until the law is changed. For 25 years they have been denied any say whatsoever in the central Government of South Africa. During this time they have lived their daily lives under the hurtful impact of apartheid.

This is the legacy that is visited on the present Government. I am not saying this with any relish but because it is the reality. These 25 years have also had an effect on the Government’s perception of South Africa. They have had an effect on its will to reform. While the State President makes statements about reform, we do not see in the present Government the will to tackle the facts of reform in this country. The 25 years have also sapped and undermined the capability and credibility that is required of any government that is going to govern modern multiracial South Africa. It will be a tremendous task to lift South Africa out of the mess into which this Government has led it. One thing is certain: The days when the NP or for that matter any White party on its own could save South Africa are over. We are only going to save South Africa if we can harness the talents and the skills and the leadership qualities of all sections of the community, whether they be Black, White or Brown. We in these benches are committed to this concept of a greater South Africa. We are committed to this concept of a greater South Africanism.


And to one man, one vote.


You talk about one man, one vote, but listen to the State President. This is a typical example of what we can expect from this R20 a month man at a time when we are dealing with the serious situation in South Africa. [Interjections.]

I must conclude because my time is up, but I want to point out that, because of the mistakes of the past and because of the gravity of the present situation, one of the most important elements in our South African situation today is not policy or power but the element of time. So we say to the State President: If you are committed to continue with the processes of reform, get on with it, but do not leave it until it is in fact too late.


Mr Speaker, in listening to the hon member for Sea Point I got the impression that he had little to say today and that he did so by way of a tirade, which I do not think worthy of this House. This afternoon he joined people who want to effect anarchy in this country, who do not make it possible for the Government to speak in an orderly and peaceful way to people who desire an orderly and peaceful existence in this country. He did not pour water on the fire this afternoon; on the contrary, he fanned it with pure oxygen. Members on that side of the House, hon members of the PFP, are probably of the greatest instigators of the situation we are experiencing in South Africa at the moment.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: May the hon member refer to members of the PFP as “instigators of the situation”?


The hon member for Springs referred very clearly to the hon members of the PFP and called them “instigators”. He must withdraw it.


I withdraw it, Mr Speaker. I want to proceed by saying that those hon members make it impossible for the Government to negotiate with people who desire an orderly and stable South Africa. After the State President made an appeal yesterday for all the people in South Africa, the PFP, hon members of the CP, us and all members of all population groups in this country to consolidate in order to bring about a decent future, hon speakers of that party do exactly the opposite. They do the exact opposite and hold our State President’s appeal in contempt. They do nothing but fan the flames. I think such an Opposition is not worthy of this country. I think the leaders of that party should be ashamed of the role they are playing in South Africa under the conditions we are experiencing at the moment.


Call a general election!


That hon member must go and carry his brother’s suitcase, because after a next election he will not return and they will not be the Opposition party! [Interjections.]

I should like to return to a few other points and associate myself with certain speeches that were made. A community like South Africa must try to resolve its social, economic and political questions in a way that is unique in the world. There are a few things that are important to this side of the House. In the first place there is a certain principle upon which the NP bases its policy. That principle is the acceptance of the existence of a variety of cultural communities in this country. Whether the PFP likes it or not, that is the principle upon which the NP bases its policy and upon which it wants to ensure an orderly and stable existence for South Africa. In the second place the NP has certain objectives. Its most important objective is that it wants to govern this country in such a way that we shall have stability and prosperity for all people who live in this country. In the third place we follow a certain method, namely that we want to implement a system of government in this country that will give each group maximal say in those matters which are of the greatest importance to its cultural community. That is exactly what we are doing at the moment.

The CP is trying to make a caricature of the Government and of the way in which we rule. They are trying to make it seem ridiculous. I should like to refer to that. With its philosophy the NP grants recognition to the variety of people in South Africa. The hon members of the CP do not like it when Nationalists stand up and say that NP policy is based on the fact that it recognizes the variety of people. They want to snatch it away from the NP. They want to pretend to have found the truth as if they have discovered it on their own.

Thanks to the policy of the NP we have a Budget such as this one before of us. What is this Budget doing? It accepts absolutely the variety of cultural communities in South Africa. It is not the size of this Budget, the amounts of money, which are relevant, but the things which are being dealt with. What is being dealt with? We are dealing with things that bear upon and ensure cultural preservation. I should like to tell the CP that in this Budget we are dealing, inter alia, with a few matters that are important to me, for example health services, social and welfare services, education and training and supportive cultural services, housing, care of the aged and environmental development. These matters are of the utmost importance to me.

The hon members of the CP are obsessed by the procedures that exist to obtain the funds for the handling of these affairs. They forget, however, that the provincial councils play an extremely important role. What do they do? Inter alia they handle one of the most important cultural facets of the continued existence of the Afrikaners, the Whites, the English-speaking people and of all cultural communities in this country. Where do they get their funds from? The only funds that provincial councils have and administrate themselves, are those obtained from horseracing. Some of the hon members on the opposite side served on a provincial council with me and they know what I am talking about.


I much preferred your previous speeches.


Perhaps I am making a silly speech in the hon member’s opinion because I am getting to him where it hurts. I know that.

The hon member for Sunnyside made certain remarks in the House, but does he really believe them? On 19 February this year he said (Hansard, col 1123):

However, what political feasibility has this Constitution ever had except to deprive the White man totally of all his power? The Government has surrendered completely and has now to listen to what the international money market and America prescribe to it. The Whites have no authority over their own affairs.

He continues and says that the Whites have been stripped of all authority and also (col 1124):

The NP is making a total and complete assault upon the soul of the Whites, their spirit and now even their identity.

I want to ask the hon member for Sunnyside whether he really believes what he said.


Yes. It is a fact. It is true.


Does he really believe that the hon the Minister of the Budget, when he serves in certain committees where he represents the House of Assembly, sits there to do what the hon member for Sunnyside wants him to? When the hon the Minister of the Budget sits in the Committee of the State President on National Priorities, when he sits in the Committee on Financial Policy and Strategy, when he sits in the Cabinet Committee on Budget Affairs, whose interests does he represent? I ask the hon member for Sunnyside: Whose interests does the hon the Minister represent then?


He is supposed to represent the Whites, but he has no authority.


He represents the Whites’ interests. The hon member for Sunnyside, however, wants to inform this House that in the process the Minister does not represent the Whites’ interests; on the contrary, he is making an assault on the continued existence of the Whites. He says that all authority has been taken from the Whites. What is the hon the Minister doing in those committees if that is so? Does the hon member have proof that when the hon the Minister takes part in those committees, he is carrying out the instructions of international big business and of America? Can he bring us proof?


Yes. [Interjections.]


Then he must bring it to this House, because he is making sweeping statements for which he has no proof. We want to know from him in this House where America told that hon Minister to make an assault on the continued existence of Whites and where America and international big business prescribed to him how to deal with the Whites’ Budget in this House. Does he really believe that the hon the Minister, when he is sitting in that committee, can make a complete assault? Are the hon member for Sunnyside and his party associates not ashamed of practising the kind of politics that we truly do not need in this country?

I am going to conclude by saying that the hon members on the side of the opposition—left and right—have, in the past two days, acted in this House in such a way that I as a backbencher am truly ashamed that so little patriotism is evident from their contributions. [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, all that I can say to the hon member for Springs is that I remember a day in 1965 when he welcomed the late Dr Verwoerd at Loskop Dam, and how he applauded the late Dr Verwoerd for the exposition he gave of the policy of separate development. This, however, is the tragedy of the NP: While they sit there they applaud only the man who has the power, but once he retires they obliterate all his achievements. This is typical of the NP and that hon member is a typical example of this. [Interjections.]

We have come to the end of this debate, and after having listened to the arguments of the governing party, we move this further amendment:

To omit all the words after “That” and to substitute “this House declines to pass the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill of the Administration: House of Assembly because—
  1. (1) the Government has lost the will to maintain law and order effectively; and
  2. (2) the right to self-determination of the Whites is being fatally dismantled.”.

The NP is playing a cruel joke on its supporters in this country. According to Dr Crocker and Prof Huntingon’s recipe, every principle of the old NP is being destroyed. However, the NP still professes to its credulous voters and supporters—as the hon member for Springs did this afternoon—that they still adhere to the old policy of separate development. That great Afrikaner, the hon member for Virginia, who is a prominent figure in the inner and outer circles of the Afrikaner, told us again yesterday—as he will most probably do in Harrismith as well—that the NP stands for the right to self-determination of the White man and also for so-called own affairs, and he also explained that own affairs are all those affairs which the Whites had control over in the past. This is a ridiculous untruth that we have been hearing from the NP during the past three years. Every standing committee that has sat this year, every meeting of the multiracial coalition cabinet of the NP, and every introductory second reading speech on general affairs, is confirmation of the destruction of the self-determination of the Whites in this country.

Furthermore, each one of those acts is proof that the NP has effectively destroyed itself as a party. The principles of the NP no longer apply and the NP congresses have no say whatsoever over the final formulation of NP policy. [Interjections.] I am asking the hon member for Virginia today, the great Afrikaner, whether the right to self-determination that the Whites have today in this House of Assembly is the same as the self-determination that the citizens of the Republic of Venda have. I am asking him this question. I am also asking the hon the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs the same question. [Interjections.] Is the self-determination of the Whites the same as that of Bophuthatswana? Is that self-determination the same as that which Dr Piet Koornhof, in reply to one of my questions last year, promised to give to Qwaqwa, should they ask for independence? Is it the same? [Interjections.] I challenge the hon member for Virginia to come with me to Harrismith and to explain there whether the self-determination he says the Whites have is the same as that of Swaziland or of any of the other states to which the old NP granted independence? [Interjections.]

I want to say that the present NP government is running away from its own history, its principles, and the future of the Whites. I advise the NP to read what happened to Cain. He, too, had to flee because of his deeds and was eventually compelled to live in the land of Nod.




That hon member should keep quiet. He does not even want Coloureds to walk on his stoep, but for all that he wants them to serve in his Cabinet. The hon member was once a minister of religion. He is welcome to explain to his friends what the land of Nod means. It is where the leaders of the NP will eventually find themselves. [Interjections.]

We do not run away from problems. The realities of today are the realities for which General Hertzog, Dr Malan, Dr Verwoerd and others stood. This party grasps the realities and that is why we stand by the principles of the policy of separate development. We did not run away and associate ourselves with the principles for which the PFP now stands.

The voice of the past will come to rest heavily on that hon Minister and the so-called conservatives of the NP. The future will, justifiably, range these hon members alongside all those people who, in the course of the history of the Whites and the Afrikaners in South Africa, sought the downfall of the Whites.

While we are discussing own affairs, I want to tell the State President, who is unfortunately not here at the moment, that no one can escape death and truth. One can run away from anything, but one cannot escape death and truth. The truth of which the electorate is taking cognizance to an increasing extent is the plan of capitulation he envisages for his nation.

The NP is painting itself into the “melting pot” comer of left-wing Americans. Two years ago the State President wrote a letter in which he said the following in connection with the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act:

With reference to your letter of 28 April 1982, the Prime Minister has instructed me to inform you that he on no occasion stated his intention to abolish the Immorality and Mixed Marriages Acts.

And now? Now Mr Brand Fourie—he is most probably doing this on the instructions of the Minister of External Affairs because there is, as you know, a clash between this Minister, the leader of the left wing, and the conservatives in the NP—comes along and says:

South Africa’s United States’ ambassador, Mr Brand Fourie, at the National Press Club yesterday …

this was in February of this year—

… insisted that apartheid is not acceptable to the average South African, and promised that the Government would take steps to repeal the Mixed Marriages and Immorality Acts within two months.


I therefore want to state categorically here today, and we shall say this throughout the country, that one cannot trust the NP. You cannot trust its leaders. I ask the hon Minister, what is the decision of the Government concerning these matters going to be? [Interjections.] The absurdity of the whole issue is that our Ambassador said two months ago that these laws would be repealed.

Fortunately—and I am grateful for this—there were simple, humble people at this stage of the history of my people, who were not prepared to follow the path of integration. A new movement of Nationalists is going to develop around the CP which, under the merciful hand of the Lord, will not only ensure the survival of the Whites, but also freedom and justice for all the other nations in Southern Africa.


Mr Speaker, I shall return to the hon member for Rissik at a later stage in my speech.

I had hoped that in this debate we would deal more directly with the budget affairs of those we represent here. Naturally, my hopes were disappointed. That does not mean that I do not regard the unrest reigning in our country at present and the other matters broached here, as important. It is a fact, however, that identical debates are conducted on two or three occasions in one session. Now the debate about the Appropriation Bill of the Administration: House of Assembly is being used to pursue this tendency as well. I regret this because in my opinion the House’s valuable time is not used constructively in this way.

In this debate a great deal has been said about the situation of unrest in the country. I do not want to say much about it except that the violence we are experiencing in South Africa once again stresses a number of inescapable truths. I want to highlight only one of them. The unrest stresses the destructive potential of any frustration in the community whether or not it is based on true or alleged grievances. It applies all the more to ethnically differentiated communities with unequal levels of development and prosperity. In our case it applies to people of colour and to Whites, because frustration potential is not confined to only one specific race group. The so-called anger, mentioned so often these days in connection with the Blacks, is another characteristic not restricted only to the Blacks. The fact is that if we fail to succeed in controlling the frustration level of the people of South Africa, we in this country are heading for a disaster.

We are dealing here with a very delicate situation. It has more sides than simply a Black and a White side, and whoever overemphasizes one side is playing with fire. We must all work together so as not to make the difficult task of the Government in these conditions even more difficult.

The task of keeping frustration within bounds, is not exclusively that of the Government. Very often the individual can control his own frustration, because frequently frustration is the difference between what one wants and what one is prepared to do to get it. No one else can fill that gap. This also applies, of course, to groups and communities.

The whole spectrum of opposition, within as well as outside Parliament, also has a responsibility in this regard. At least they can help to create attitudes to increase the possibility of peaceful coexistence. They can do so by setting an example. There is a built-in explosive potential in our population framework. It is very easy to make it erupt, but very difficult to control it. To find the SA Police guilty without trial, for example, as we have experienced in the ranks of the Official Opposition, will not calm emotions—neither those of Black people nor those of White people. Publicly accusing the Government of murder as we have recently experienced it, is to aggravate the situation.

To allow false expectations to develop in people and to help form these, is just as dangerous. In this connection the Official Opposition can make a very important contribution, because they know from hard-won experience what the political limits of the greater majority of Whites in this country are. They know the point beyond which the Whites will not be pushed. The PFP regularly confers with Black people on all levels. They can help a great deal to bring home the reality that most Whites accept change and, indeed, as a matter of conviction, want to bring about change, but they set a few limits. One of these is that a so-called Black majority government is out of the question. So, too, no variation of the one man, one vote system in a unitary state is acceptable. If, therefore, the Official Opposition, as I believe is the case, has the interests of all people in South Africa, White and Black, equally at heart, they must help to make the Blacks see the Whites’ limits clearly. The boundaries outside which the Whites do not want to and are not going to move, are an inescapable reality of our country, just as the necessity of change is a reality.

If all Blacks understand this properly one day, it can help a great deal to lower their expectations to such reasonable levels that these, together with the reasonable expectations of the other groups, can serve as the foundation for negotiation. In this way senseless violence can make way for a step forward in pursuit of peace. Therefore the Official Opposition can play a much more wide-ranging and significant role in the evolutionary course of our country’s development, and I really wish they would now start to do so.

As far as the CP is concerned, they too are taking a course which can lead to great frustration. They do not have a viable alternative for the Government’s policy of ethnic relations. They lead their followers away from the Government but they lead them on a road that leads nowhere. Somewhere along that road they will be found out and will themselves become the victims of the frustration they have helped to create. Then, in these conditions, the hon member for Rissik comes and says it is the Government that is playing a trick on the voters of South Africa. One wonders if he has thought too, of the great trick he is playing on his followers. In the meantime they take a delight in disparaging the Whites’ own affairs. It is proclaimed all over that the Whites have lost their right of self-determination.

Let us have a look at the Whites’ position. First we deal with the question of general affairs. Our interests in the Republic of South Africa are not reflected exclusively in this Budget. After all, we have a real interest in every general affair. Our inputs in that regard, however, are no longer determined by privileged position. They are now determined by our expertise, by our hard work, by our goodwill and sincerity, the degree of trust we can cultivate in our hon colleagues in the other two Houses, and by our ability of persuasion. They are also determined by the merits of our case as weighed up against the merits of the other parties’ case should there be conflicting claims. Our participation in the sphere of general affairs poses certain challenges which bring the best potential in us to the fore. Indeed, it is an enriching and edifying experience to take part in it.

The Budget with which we are dealing today, can be seen in its full perspective only against this broad background. We have not lost or sacrificed any reasonable, just and legitimate claim to any general affair. We shall receive our due. At the same time the other participators in the political system will receive their due, and they will receive it as the consequence of their own participation. No one need be frustrated.

As far as own affairs are concerned, we have the additional advantage that an important burden has now been taken from our shoulders. It is no longer necessary for us to be responsible for the more personal matters of two other population groups. They themselves are doing so. It is an arrangement that takes the South African realities into full consideration, because it is simply no longer physically possible for the White minority of approximately 4,8 million people to be solely responsible for all matters peculiar to the whole population of the country, especially not if it is done against the will of those in whose interests one is trying to act. It is a fact that this aspect of the new Constitution and its implementation is a positive one.

When we look at the Budget before us it is clear once again that we are still busy with a constitutional process. I stress this fact which has often been mentioned in debates, for one reason only and that is that in connection with the further extension of the constitutional pattern, I want to express the hope that it will take place soon. It is less urgent for us here in the House of Assembly than for hon members in the other two Houses. At the moment they are still experiencing obstructions in the way of the full expression of their aspirations on behalf of their people. They have no one who can be called to account on the grounds of his election by the community about local community development for example. It is quite comprehensible that this can lead to feelings of frustration, and the sooner this is rectified, the better.

The Government has been in power for a long time. Only its ability to continue to act in a self-renewing way, and only the realism of its policies have made this possible. This Budget and the characteristics of the structure of which it is an extension, are typical of this particular capacity for renewal. Therefore, I am delighted to support a Budget presented in conditions such as these by an Administration such as this one.


Mr Speaker, very belatedly from the ranks of the NP, the hon member for Stellenbosch has expressed his deep concern about the explosive situation in South Africa, as he termed it. I appreciate his approach and the remarks he made which I believe were constructive and helpful. We will try to respond as best we can to that part of his speech.

The NP and others have accused us of being irresponsible in continuing to debate in this House the events at Uitenhage and other events, despite the plea of the State President. I believe that history will be the judge as to who was responsible—those who talked about matters which affected only a small group of people in this country, or those who tried very hard in this, the highest legislative assembly of the land, to focus on the issues which are causing so much concern and heartache and distress to any concerned person in South Africa.

I want to make only one brief comment on the State President’s speech. He said—and I paraphrase—that it was ironic that the very moment that the Government was committed to reform there was renewed unrest. It is not only ironic; it is also very tragic. Chief Gatsha Buthelezi probably summed it up correctly when he said:

Reform in South Africa as of now is a white cat which has been set amongst white pigeons, which has caused a flurry only amongst Whites.

I think what he was trying to say is that the message of reform has not reached the vast majority of Black people in this country.

I wish it were true that the warnings we issued during the referendum had not come true. At that stage we said that this new Constitution highlighted as nothing had ever done since 1910 the exclusion of Blacks from the central Government of South Africa, and highlighted therefore their legitimate grievances and anger. We also warned against the divisions which would come as a direct result of this, and we are witnessing that as never before. As evidence of this the tragic shootings at Uitenhage cannot be seen in isolation; they were not only a once-off. They must be seen against the background of unrest, death and destruction which have been unabated since September 1984 when trouble first erupted in the Vaal Triangle. Since that time South Africa has been nothing short of a simmering cauldron. Almost every day there have been reports in the Transvaal, the Free State, the Western Cape at Crossroads, and in particular the Eastern Cape, telling of confrontation between police and township residents, and almost always of death and injury. Only this afternoon we heard of trouble in Grahamstown, in East London and in Durban. So it goes on. Only this morning I had a phone call from John Kani to say that his brother, who was standing alongside the road at a funeral, was shot dead by the police. It goes on and on—it is not an isolated incident. This is happening throughout the Eastern Cape, not only at Uitenhage.

Not many South Africans are aware of the full extent of the violence and death which have been essential features of the unrest. According to my reckoning, since September 1984—only a few months ago—close to 300 people have died, and the figure grows every day and every hour. It is impossible to count the number of people who have been injured. When one tries to estimate the number of those arrested, the damage to property, the effect on schools and the general destruction of community life, it is impossible to estimate the overall costs in human or physical terms. During this month of March alone, more than 80 people have been killed. That is a figure higher than that of Sharpeville when 67 people were killed, and now we are 25 years on. It is then reasonable to ask of ourselves: Have we learnt anything at all since that tragic day? This Government has had a surfeit of warnings down the years; warnings which can be documented in pages of Hansard and elsewhere. The most recent of these was certainly the affidavit sent to the State President long before the tragic events of 21 March. It is a fair question to ask whether this Government learnt anything at all from tragic events over 25 years.

The response of the Government thus far makes one feel very, very pessimistic and gloomy indeed. In the past they have found convenient scapegoats. We have heard that again in this very debate. The State President himself adopts a tough posture, and then has the audacity to talk about the need for every White person to carry his identity document. Has he forgotten that the central issue of Sharpeville was the pass laws which caused 67 people to die in 1960? Meanwhile those selfsame pass laws are still on our Statute Book and cause havoc among millions of Black people today.

The State President also referred to the situation at Uitenhage as being communistically inspired. When will he learn that this simplistic approach solves nothing and is in fact dangerous?

The hon the Minister of Law and Order responds by totally accepting the Police account of the most recent tragedy, and then proceeds to ban meetings of organizations, leaving no escape valve for the pressures which continue to build up inside South Africa.

In the report which we compiled in connection with our visit to Uitenhage we made mention of the basic causes underlying the unrest there. We went on to say the following, and I quote:

This would have to include political as well as social and economic grievances, and would have to include the entire Eastern Cape and South Africa.

I spent hours talking with leading trade unionists in that area. It is clear to me that the economic recession is biting hard there and elsewhere, especially among the poorest sections of our community. This, together with widespread and ever-increasing unemployment, is threatening to tear apart the very fabric of our society.


What advice did you give them?


I urged them, Sir, to talk and to learn and to stop resorting to violence. That is exactly the same advice I am trying to give to that hon Minister. Overarching the whole situation of turmoil are the deep resentment and simmering anger at the lack of meaningful political rights.


Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon member?


I am terribly sorry; I have virtually no time left. I have only about two minutes or so still at my disposal.

Another major cause of resentment and anger is the appointment of community councils despite strong objections. In Uitenhage those community councillors have 6% of the total vote. Many of them are resigning because they fear for their very lives. We have already stated in this House that we deplore the violence against them. It is unfair, however, to place them in that position. They do not want that. The affidavits which we have collected make chilling and frightening reading matter. Again and again we hear of municipal police forming, what are virtually vigilante bands, appointed by the community councils and by the so-called mayors in those areas. Alas, violence begets violence!

There are many specific and general questions which flow from this tragedy. There is, however, one fundamental question which cries aloud to be answered in the closing moments of this debate. The answer to it is one in which all of us have to participate, and it is an answer which is meant specifically for the attention of the Government. This Government has brought South Africa to the edge of the abyss, and the question is therefore: Has it the will, the humility, the courage and the ability to bring us back from this precarious position? This is a question which is being asked more urgently than ever before by the international community. It is a question which the Official Opposition in this House has asked many times before but with greater urgency now than ever before. It is a question which Black, Coloured, Asian and White people alike are asking: Is this Government fit to govern South Africa?




Is it capable of understanding the extent of the changes which are required?


Of course, yes!


If it is, then it had better get on with the job for there is a growing uneasiness in the country, a growing uneasiness in South Africa because people believe that the Government cannot and will not understand and that it has lost the way. I hope to God that the historical legacy of these decades of apartheid has not stilled the will and hardened the hearts of this Government to such an extent that they can no longer really understand.

If the State President wants to do what he says he is doing, then the whole rotten system of apartheid must go, and it can only go as a result of direct negotiation between himself and his Ministers and the legitimate leaders of Black and White in South Africa. Furthermore, whether he likes it or not, in the end he will have to deal with Mandela and he will have to deal with the ANC. I believe the sooner he does so the better the opportunity South Africa will have of averting an even greater tragedy, and we urge the State President to do so. We give him the assurance that whenever he takes one tiny step towards peace, we will be there to do everything we can to assist him.


Mr Speaker, we have now come to the end of this Budget debate on own affairs, which had to be conducted here while an atmosphere about which we are all unhappy, or should be unhappy, is reigning in the country. Even political schadenfreude would be unsuitable in conditions such as these.

On the side of the Official Opposition the hon member for Yeoville’s speech was a pleasant exception to the style of the debating. I want to begin by referring to the criticism he passed in this debate. The hon member referred to the fact that the largest part of the Budget is used for transfer payments for own affairs. He is quite correct; these are the transfer payments, the statutory amounts, which are prescribed by the Revenue Accounts Financing Act. This does not conclude the matter, however, because whether these are transfer payments or not, it consists of money that must be financed, and the moment one finances money, discipline must be exercised over that money. This administration is responsible for the exercising of this discipline over that money. That is why it is important for it to appear in the Budget of the administration. I want to tell the hon member for Yeoville that there is great advantage in these so-called transfer payments, because this is money that is due to one in terms of a formula. When we therefore find ourselves in a situation like the present one, we do not have to fight about it every time. This is money that we definitely receive.

The hon member passed a further point of criticism. He said it made no sense to him that we are debating the finances in respect of own affairs, when the Main Budget has not yet been approved. What we are arguing and debating about here, is not detail; it is simply the principle to be embodied in this Budget. If we were to follow the course suggested by the hon member for Yeoville, namely that we should approve the Main Budget first, and then this Appropriation Bill of the Administration: House of Assembly, it would be a futile debate. It would then be a concluded matter, because, after all, the greatest part of the money—as the hon member said—comes from that Budget that would have been concluded by then.


Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon the Minister? I want to ask the hon the Minister what would happen if the Minister of Finance were persuaded in the Main Budget to give more money to this House for own affairs. The hon the Minister of the Budget would then have to submit a supplementary budget here because he would not have budgeted for it.


What is wrong with that? The hon member is answering his own question. That is exactly what we are going to do.

The hon member moved an amendment in which he said that this Bill should not be passed:

… because the Ministers’ Council has failed to lay down policies which would contribute to the safety, economic wellbeing and future stability of the community.

What is the Ministers’ Council’s contribution to the stability and safety referred to? [Interjections.] I have told the hon members already. In my speech I said what our contribution is. I said that my two counterparts in the other two Houses and I have representation in every important committee that deals with Government revenue and expenditure and financial and economic planning. I also mentioned which fields they cover. I said that this joint participation together with my two counterparts is of the utmost importance for financial consensus. In addition I said that we three Ministers of the Budget together with the Minister of Finance are responsible for what I called “joint responsibility from a budgetary point of view”.

I remember it so well, I still hear the refrain always used by the hon member for Yeoville: “The question is how is the cake going to be cut?”


That is right.


Now it seems that the cutting of the 1985-86 cake may be a success. Does that not suit the hon member as a responsible hon member of this House? Will the hon member be pleased if it appears that we have indeed achieved financial consensus for 1985-86?


I am pleased about every good thing you do.


That is the contribution made by this administration.

†The hon member is very worried about my authority to impose levies notwithstanding the fact that I gave the assurance that it would only be done with the greatest circumspection. He suggested that this should be referred to the Margo Commission. I can tell the hon member straightaway that I have no objection at all to that. In fact, that particular authority was given in its terms of reference to that commission.

*In fact, we received very little financial criticism on this Budget, whereas in reality there was a lot to talk about. For health there is R680 million; for agriculture, R425 million; for education, R996 million; and for housing, R81 million. In addition a housing loan of R60 million has been budgeted for. Budgetary Services gets almost R20 million. Why was there so little financial criticism on the Budget? The only reason is that it is a good Budget.

The only hon member who tried to level criticism, is the hon member for Lichtenburg, who is not here at present. [Interjections.] He referred to the amount of R252 million which has been set aside for agricultural financing. The absurd demands made by the hon member, have in fact harmed the cause of the farmer. If I understand the hon member correctly, he is saying that the Government must make good any loss between the yield of the harvest and what it calculates to be the cost of sowing the harvest. Am I correct?

*Mr C UYS:

No, you are quite “onnosel” (stupid) if you say that. [Interjections.]


In that case the hon member did not say what he meant, for that is the impression he left.


Order! The hon member for Barberton must withdraw the word “onnosel”.

*Mr C UYS:

Sir, I withdraw it. [Interjections.]


The calculation of the costs of sowing a harvest are disputed by hon members who have knowledge of this, but I think the question of the costs a maize farmer has in planting a hectare can be debated in the discussion of the Agricultural Vote. There will be a great deal of opportunity to do so.

Let us look at the important item in that connection in the Budget, namely the interest subsidy on carry-over debt and on production credit. In the Budget before us an amount of R172 million has been budgeted for this. The amount in fact paid out for this in the 1984-85 financial year, is R125 million. There is an increase, therefore, of not less than 37% in this Budget.

In this Budget only R2 000 is indicated for the subsidizing and transport of fodder. The hon members are welcome to have a look. In the present financial year R86 million was spent on these two items. In my Budget speech I said that the amount that we shall in fact spend in the 1985-86 financial year will depend on the weather conditions. Another item in programme 6—agricultural financing—for which we have budgeted only R1 000, is fodder loans. Only R1 000 has been budgeted for that, whereas we know that in the present financial year we need R24 million for this purpose.

Instead of an amount of R110 million, only R3 000 is in fact indicated because we do not know what the weather and farming conditions will be. We have laid down certain rules which we shall apply, even if it costs us more than R110 million. This R252 million can then very easily become R360 million.

Now I want to ask any responsible member in the House: Does it look as though the Government is withdrawing its hand from the farmers, as the hon member for Lichtenburg said? In my Budget speech I said that the budgetary aid given to the agricultural sector in the past six years is unparalleled in the history of this country. No one has denied that yet.

The hon member for Lichtenburg said the State President said the country had become ungovernable. That is typical of the CP politics. When we called his attention to the fact that the State President had not said this, he simply dropped the matter. [Interjections.] That is typical of CP politics. At a CP meeting there is no one to call him to order and what he says there is applauded. [Interjections.] That is how it appears in his speech; I verified it. [Interjections.]

The hon member continued in his effort to disparage this administration. He said the Minister cannot impose a levy without imposing a general law and that the permission of the other two Houses must be obtained to do so. This indicates absolute ignorance or wilfulness. Indeed, the hon member for Yeoville had already said that that general law exists, namely Act No 120 of 1984, the Revenue Accounts Financing Act.

In my opinion the hon members for Lichtenburg, Kuruman and Brakpan revealed the most comical political opportunism I have ever experienced. While they have nothing but praise for the actions of the SA Police in Uitenhage, they demand the head of the hon the Minister of Law and Order on a platter. [Interjections.]


Which member of the CP demanded the head of the hon the Minister of Law and Order?


That is an expression I use. The hon member for Kuruman said here “U het mos my leier daarvan beskuldig dat hy verantwoordelik was vir die skoolonluste in 1976. Nou beskuldig ek daardie Minister dat hy vir hierdie onluste verantwoordelik is.” Hon members pointed at him and said that he was to pack his bags and leave.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: May the hon the Minister propound an untruth by saying that the CP demanded the head of the Minister of Law and Order?


It is a debatable point. The hon the Minister may proceed.


I do not say hon members used those precise words. I said that was how I interpreted it. The fact of the matter is that it was clear from the assault of those hon members that they would be pleased if the hon the Minister were to leave. The Police were not born yesterday and will see right through their cheap politicking. They will not accept that they are so good, but that the person leading them is so bad all of a sudden.

The hon member for Virginia treated the question of own affairs in a particularly suitable and effective way. He tried to explain it to the hon member for Rissik, as a competent teacher would. He should not be disappointed, however, if he has to explain it to the hon member again soon. The hon member referred to section 14 and the schedule of the law and the extent thereof. He referred to self-determination and the right of governing oneself. For the hon members who are trying to disparage own affairs, I want to add that 69 laws or parts thereof which are to be handled by this Administration, have been transferred to it. Thirty-five thousand officials—do hon members disparage them too?—will be working for the Administration shortly. We are already dealing with 30 programmes in five departments, and this has all been done within a short period of seven months. This administration covers an immensely wide field if it is extended to local authorities and even more so if agricultural matters are added. If they feel like making financial calculations, they can work it out in terms of money. The two opposition parties, the PFP and the CP …


Not a coalition!


The two parties form an unholy coalition, and try to disparage us. There are two very good reasons for that. In the first instance neither presents an alternative, and not one has even made an effort to formulate its alternative for own affairs, for that is what this debate is about. I shall tell you why not. I remember that during the CP’s first Transvaal congress in 1982—I think it was in Pretoria—I saw in the newspapers that someone had said there that negotiations with the Coloureds concerning the accomplishment of a Coloured homeland was a case of urgency. I thought that was a meaningful thing to have issued from that congress. At the following congress which took place in the region of Kimberley—the hon member for Kuruman will remember, for he is the leader in the Cape—there was no talk of it. There was an inquiry about it, but the reply was: No, we are taking care of the White people first, and then we shall negotiate with the Coloured people. Nearly three years have passed now and we have still heard nothing of that matter of urgency, but they demand that within months we must have finished developing a new system completely. That proves only one thing. The hon member for Waterberg was right; he was proved right.


Yes, he is always right!


He was proved right when he signed the twelve point plan, implying that a Coloured homeland is not practically possible. [Interjections.]

The PFP has the same dilemma. They talk widely of a federal system and of free association, but if one speaks of a “hidden agenda”, that party has one. [Interjections.] While they tell us here that one man, one vote is not their policy, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition spoke to the Guardian in England and admitted that their policy would have to end in one man, one vote. If the newspaper quoted him incorrectly, he can tell us. [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon the Minister a question?


No, unfortunately I have only half an hour. [Interjections.]

†The hon member for Umbilo raised a number of points pertaining to particulars and I would suggest that the hon member take them up during the discussion of the Vote. However, there are three issues to which I want to refer. The hon member referred to the demanding of payment from delinquent parents for children in certain homes. That matter will be looked into. He also referred to the ratio of spending on the universities vis-à-vis the technikons. Thirdly, he referred to the need for technical expertise. I think that the problem of technical education should be tackled even earlier than at the level of universities and technikons. I think there is also a great need to look into providing such education even at the secondary and primary levels of education. That is an important matter, which was also referred to by the hon member for Standerton, and I thank him for that. My colleague, the hon the Minister of Education and Culture, will certainly look into it.

The hon member for Umbilo also referred to the surplus of skilled White teachers. I want to tell him that this is very much a regional phenomenon. In certain areas there is a surplus of teachers, but in certain other areas there is a big shortage, depending on where in the country a given area is. The point is, of course, that other communities can make use of the surplus of White teachers where it occurs.

*I should like to convey my sincere thanks to the hon member for Durban Point for a very balanced statement concerning the very contentious matter of the riots. He is fully entitled to consider the findings of the judicial commission critically, once they are known.

†The hon member’s attitude is completely in line and conforms with the request of the State President, the request made by the judge of the judicial commission and the appeals made by certain other people like the SA Jewish Board of Deputies. I quote from the Cape Times of Saturday, 23 March 1985:

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies called on all concerned to exercise constraint and tolerance and to use their utmost endeavours to find a solution for the problems which have led to the shootings.

The attitude of the PFP is in glaring contrast to the attitude displayed by the hon member for Durban Point. By their actions here those hon members classified themselves as people ignoring pleas for peaceful reform and stability. No wonder, Sir, that the hon member for Bloemfontein North warned them not to be solicitors of violence. Although those hon members may not particularly or positively do that, one-sided criticism could well be tantamount to encouragement and incitement.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Is the hon the Minister permitted to allege that members of the Official Opposition are solicitors of violence?


Did the hon Minister refer specifically to members of the PFP?


Sir, I merely referred to the warning addressed by the hon member for Bloemfontein North that members should not encourage or prompt violence through their actions. My specific words were: “Although those hon members may not positively do that, one-sided criticism could well be tantamount …”


And just before that?


I said: “No wonder the hon member for Bloemfontein North warned them not to be solicitors of violence.”


If the hon the Minister associates the two, he must withdraw what he said.


The first section?




I withdraw it, Sir.

I should also like to refer briefly to the hon members on this side of the House who took part in the debate. I want to convey my sincere thanks for their participation. The hon member for Waterkloof, our main speaker, produced very illuminating new facts concerning the per capita expenditure. This answers fully all the criticism of the hon members of the CP. I want to thank him especially for all the trouble he has gone to in that connection. He also made the very important point that there should be a balance between expenditure in respect of people and expenditure in respect of productivity.

The hon member for Gezina said that we are proud of what we have already achieved in respect of own affairs. In truth, we are proud of it. He said that this Administration should set a good example. I add that we should do so because we are the group with the most experience in this particular field. I can mention that there are political colleagues in the other two houses who are prepared to make use of and to draw from the greater experience we have in this connection. I think we can learn certain things from them as well.

The hon member for Bloemfontein North—I have referred to him already—also referred to the question of unemployment and of minimum wages. He referred to people whose labour has become impossibly expensive as a result of wages that are too high. In addition he called for us to look at wage structures. I think the matters broached by him are important. These are matters that will deserve our attention on the road ahead.

The hon member for Prieska furnished certain information which is disputed by the farmers in the ranks of the hon members of the CP. I regard him, however, as being an expert in that sphere. The hon members concerned must therefore resolve the matter amongst themselves in a later debate.

†The hon member for Amanzimtoti referred to the fact that many hon members—and this is an important point—are prepared to support measures aimed at financial discipline. He pointed out, however, that as soon as the measures are put into practice and the hardship is felt, they want to make political capital out of it. Too many people believe that the State owes them a living. I, too, think that there is no more room for that type of thinking, and so I agree with the hon member.

*I am pleased that the hon member for Standerton appealed to the youth to think, strive and act positively.

The hon member for Turffontein apologized because he cannot be here. He referred to the great magnitude that own affairs has already assumed, and I shall leave it at that.

The hon member for Bellville also apologized because he cannot be here. He said that the new dispensation has provided a stimulus for a better dispensation in respect of housing. I am pleased he pointed out that positive aspect.

The hon member for Paarl submitted a request for the reconsideration of the taxability of bursaries. I can give him the assurance that this is already being considered.

The hon member for Sea Point is not here, so I shall say nothing further concerning his contribution.

I thank the hon member for Springs for his valuable contribution on self-determination, maximum control over own affairs, and the role played by this administration and its committees.

The hon member for Rissik advanced an amendment. In it he refers to order and justice, and also to self-determination. He says we neglect it. The exact opposite is true, however. This hon member is experiencing exactly what he says does not exist. At the moment he is experiencing the preservation of order and justice. He is experiencing self-determination here today. [Interjections.] His frustration lies in his having no answer to it. Why did he not debate it then? Because he probably cannot read it in some or other newspaper. [Interjections.] That is the truth he is trying to escape from, the fact that he does not have an answer and an alternative.

My sincere thanks too to the hon member for Stellenbosch who warned against the danger of creating false expectations. In addition he said we must apply skill, persuasion and goodwill in dealing with these matters.

In conclusion I want to indicate that the NP never said “vote yes and tomorrow there will be heaven on earth”. We never said that. [Interjections.] We said there would be violence. We even said we expected it. [Interjections.] Only reform will bring peace and prosperity in this country. It cannot happen overnight, however. That is why we do what we do from a position of strength, political strength drawn from the NP. We do it from a position of military and economic strength and with confidence, but, most important of all, we do it with the willpower to strive and work for a dispensation in which people can five together in peace.

Question put: That all the words after “That” stand part of the Question,

Upon which the House divided:

Ayes—77: Alant, T G; Aronson, T; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot, G C; Bartlett, G S; Botha, J C G; Botma, M C; Cunningham, J H; De Jager, A M v A; De Klerk, F W; De Pontes, P; De Villiers, D J; Du Plessis, G C; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Geldenhuys, A; Golden, S G A; Grobler, J P; Hayward, S A S; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Landman, W J; Lemmer, W A; Louw, E v d M; Malan, W C; Malherbe, G J; Marais, G; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Maree, M D; Meiring, J W H; Morrison, G de V; Nothnagel, A E; Olivier, P J S; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, P H; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, S J; Schoeman, W J; Schutte, DPA; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Steyn, D W; Streicher, D M; Swanepoel, K D; Terblanche, A J WPS; Terblanche, G P D; Thompson, A G; Ungerer, J H B; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Linde, G J; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, G J; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, E H; Vermeulen, J A J; Vilonel, J J; Volker, V A; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Wessels, L; Wiley, J W E; Wright, A P.

Tellers: J P I Blanché, P J Clase, C J Ligthelm, R P Meyer, J J Niemann and L van der Watt.

Noes—33: Andrew, K M; Bamford, B R; Barnard, M S; Boraine, A L; Burrows, R; Cronjé, P C; Dalling, D J; Goodall, B B; Hoon, J H; Hulley, R R; Le Roux, F J; Olivier, N J J; Page, B W B; Raw, W V; Rogers, PRC; Schoeman, J C B; Scholtz, E M; Schwarz, H H; Sive, R; Slabbert, F v Z; Snyman, W J; Soal, P G; Suzman, H; Uys, C; Van der Merwe, H D K; Van der Merwe, S S; Van der Merwe, W L; Van Heerden, R F; Van Staden, F A FI; Van Zyl, J J B; Watterson, D W.

Tellers: P A Myburgh and A B Widman.

Question affirmed and amendments dropped.

Bill read a second time.


Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Trade Practices Amendment Bill [No 44A and B—85 (GA)] be considered in Committee of the Whole House.

I want to say right at the outset that one of the most remarkable things about the legislation which we are discussing is that there is actually nobody of whom I am aware, whether in commerce, in law, in industry or in politics—not even the hon the Leader of the House—who actually agrees with this legislation. Not even the hon the Leader of the House agrees with it. What is remarkable is that we received objections in memorandums from the Association of Law Societies, the Bar Council, the FCI—you name it, and the objection is there. Yet, the hon the Minister is for some reason absolutely determined to go ahead with this legislation which fundamentally offends against the principles that we hold dear in South African law. When I say “we”, I am not talking only about the PFP or the Opposition, but I am talking about we the people who have a vested and fundamental belief in the concepts of Roman-Dutch Law. That is why the legal profession is so much up in arms about this whole matter. Anybody who applies his mind will feel the same.

What have we achieved here? We have reached a situation in which the Minister has made himself, in a lawsuit, a witness, a prosecutor, a judge, a jury, and also the prison warder, all in the one personality, that of the Minister! He does it all! This is not in accordance with principles that we understand. What is even more tragic is that, while we accept that the hon the Minister wants to achieve a certain objective, he now has legislation which cannot achieve the objective that he wants.

I am going to demonstrate very clearly why that is so. Firstly, if one does not have a liquidation on the grounds of inability to pay debts, one cannot invoke the provisions which relate to certain offences and to certain inquiries. If hon members think that that is merely my view, I must inform them that that is also the view of the Bar. In other words, if I am wrong, the whole of the legal profession is wrong, the Association of Law Societies is wrong—and the hon the Minister has the memorandum of the Bar Council in front of him, which proves this very point. What I cannot understand is why, if one has a wrongdoer in this situation, one should now have a liquidation procedure which allows him to escape! One allows him to escape an inquiry, one allows him to escape the consequences of his actions in regard to certain offences.

The Bar Council makes the identical point which I have made in previous debates. I want to make it again now. One of the difficulties is the question of preferences. In case I am perhaps not so eloquent, I would like to read what the Bar Council has to say about it:

It is almost inevitable that, no matter how promptly this is done …

That is the liquidation procedure:

… there will be participants who got in early into the scheme and have already profited greatly. There are participants who entered the scheme later and have not yet been repaid any of the money which they put into the scheme. The Bill does nothing at all to solve this kind of problem. On the contrary, it makes it quite impossible to solve it in any equitable way, because it outlaws compromises once a liquidation or sequestration has been ordered by the Minister.

This is now the important part:

The recognized order of preference in insolvency will apply. This means that those who have already recovered their initial outlay and profits to boot will be able to compete with those who have not even recovered their outlay from the limited cash which may still be available to satisfy claims.

How that can be equitable on the assumption of the hon the Minister, who wants to achieve that end, is absolutely beyond me.

We also made a further point—and there are amendments on the Order Paper to deal with it—in regard to the question of the revolving scheme. Let me read another passage from the memorandum of the Bar Council in this regard:

Loss which arises from unwitting participation in a revolving scheme by gullible members of the public is something far removed from the loss which an ordinary trade creditor may suffer through his dealings with an individual or company which ultimately proves unable to pay the debts due to him. We think that some provision should be made in the Bill for the ordinary order of distribution in insolvency to be varied.

Why cannot that be done?

The interesting thing, however, when we come to the question of the revolving scheme, is the following. We have tried to suggest a more practical means of dealing with it. The Bar Council demonstrates beyond question that the definition of the revolving scheme is exactly the opposite of what the hon the Minister has in mind. That means that what the hon the Minister has formulated in words is exactly the opposite of what he wants to accomplish. Referring to the fact that the definition is unsatisfactory the Bar Council goes on to say in its report, and I quote again:

The problem which arose there was not caused by a decline in participation in that scheme. The company was doomed to ultimate insolvency because of an increasing participation in the scheme. The reason is not far to seek.

They then go on to set out at length why that is so. They end by saying, and I quote yet again:

Thus, what the present definition of ‘revolving scheme’ fastens upon as the distinguishing characteristic of such a scheme, namely, a risk of financial loss if there is a decline in the participation in the scheme, was not really a factor of any consequence in the Kubus debacle. The real risk was an increase in participation and the attendant multiplier effect which would inevitably drive the company into a state of insolvency.

Therefore, the definition the hon the Minister has is exactly the opposite of what he wants to accomplish.

The last point made by the Bar Council—which we also make—is in connection with the question of fees. If one bears in mind that there is supposed to be some R50 million in cash and claims and various other things, it means that if the tariff were applied—and I think you, Mr Speaker, are aware of the tariff—to collect a debt of R50 million the liquidator’s remuneration would be R5 million. That is what the liquidator’s remuneration would amount to if the tariff were applied in full. If the Master were to reduce it the example given by the Bar Council is as follows, and I quote:

If the Master were to use the analogy of the collection of a book debt as his starting point, he might very well simply reduce the percentage by a relatively arbitrary amount (say by one-third) and allow a fee of 6,66%. In the case of Kubus Kwekery (Pty) Ltd, this would mean a fee of at least R3 166 500.

Is this how the creditors are going to get a fair deal out of it? Is it logical that this kind of fee should be paid? Should there not be special fees in relation to this laid down so that the hon the Minister can make the necessary regulations?

We have offered him the opportunity of taking this piece of legislation to the Committee of the Whole House. If he prefers to do so he can even refer it back to the standing committee. There is a provisional order of sequestration for Kubus Kwekery in force at the moment. It is likely to be confirmed in any case. Do you know what is really remarkable, Sir? If I were the wrongdoer in the Kubus Kwekery case I would rather be liquidated by the court than by the hon the Minister, because if I were liquidated by the court I could be investigated and prosecuted. Under the hon the Minister’s procedure I would indeed be getting no protection at all. This, to my mind, is something which is utterly unacceptable to us. As we see it, this Bill contains, in the first instance, fundamental principles to which we are opposed. One of those principles is that one cannot change the status of an individual or of a company by means of a notice in the Government Gazette without a hearing. Here the question of a hearing—unfortunately I do not have the time to read it—is again dealt with by the Bar Council. They point out that we are amending the wrong section of the Act; that we are not doing it correctly.

Everything which this hon Minister could be capable of doing wrong in connection with this piece of legislation he has indeed succeeded in doing. This is really a most remarkable situation. It is really a most remarkable thing. If it had been drafted by those people who want to escape responsibility they could not have done a better job that the hon the Minister. The whole concept of having someone sequestrated without his having an opportunity of being heard, but of having him open the Government Gazette one Friday morning—on the assumption he reads it—suddenly to discover that he is insolvent, is clearly revealed by this piece of legislation. A man can suddenly find that he has been declared insolvent without having been given notice, without having been heard, without having been given any chance at all.

With great respect, Sir, this is not a piece of legislation which this House can afford to have on the Statute Book in its present form because it reflects on every single hon member who votes in favour of this measure. That is why we ask that there should be an opportunity of reconsidering it.


Mr Chairman, it is a pity that when the hon the Minister was replying to the second reading debate, he was in a terrible hurry because he also had to go to one of the other Houses to reply to a debate there. Accordingly he neglected to reply in full to the arguments advanced by various parties on this side of the House. On that occasion the hon the Minister was also assisted by, inter alia, his legal adviser the hon the Minister of Justice who, as we have noted, has on two occasions not done very well with the advice he has given in other respects. It is on that very point—the question of appeal—that I wish to level criticism. It is totally unacceptable that a person who, in circumstances such as these, finds that his estate has been sequestrated, has no right of recourse whatsoever through the courts. Acting on the advice of the hon the Minister of Justice, the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry then said that in certain circumstances, there is a right of appeal. However, the right of appeal one has in terms of administrative law is not remotely comparable to the substantial right of appeal one has in circumstances such as these. One’s right to appeal or review only applies where that advisory board or the hon the Minister acts mala fide, or if they were to act in such an unreasonable way that no reasonable person would agree with them in that regard. The type of review that one can resort to when placed in an unenviable position—as is the case here—is of no significance whatsoever.

The position is also that according to the tried-and-trusted law of insolvency, and the tried-and-trusted law relating to the liquidation of companies, when a person’s estate is sequestrated he has the right to go and state his case to the meeting of creditors, to the trustee or to the curator. He has the right to explain that he had nothing to do with that matter and that his estate must be freed from the curator’s action. In terms of this Bill—however noble the hon the Minister’s motives may be—he is infringing, in an outrageous fashion, on the individual’s interests and rights.

There are several reasons why we are unable to support this Bill. In normal circumstances when one is affected to such a degree in regard to one’s status, one has a right to be heard somewhere. One has the right of appeal. However, with regard to this matter one is being deprived of that right, and that is totally unfair. It is totally unfair that the estate of even a shareholder can be sequestrated whereas he was not even a director directly involved in the decisions taken. Therefore this is a totally unfair and unreasonable proposal by the hon the Minister. For these reasons we feel, therefore, that the hon the Minister should rather refer this Bill back to the standing committee than allow it to go through as it stands. The matter ought to be fully reconsidered in the standing committee in order to achieve the aim which the hon the Minister would like to achieve. For example, if he were to obtain a provisional order against a shareholder or anyone else, then that person’s assets are frozen in any event, and the creditors would not suffer further detriment. Why, then, is the decision so final? Why is there no opportunity for a man acting bona fide to get out of the trouble that the hon the Minister has perhaps placed him in in terms of this legislation. We therefore urgently call upon the hon the Minister to refer this matter back to the standing committee for re-investigation.


Mr Chairman, I agree with the hon member for Brakpan that the Bill should be referred back to the standing committee. However, I believe that since it has passed the second reading that simply cannot be done although in my opinion that is still where it should go. [Interjections.]

On the other hand, there is a motion of the hon member for Yeoville on the Order Paper that the Bill be considered in Committee of the Whole House. For various reasons I am quite happy to support his motion and, in any case, I have an amendment on the Order Paper which can only be moved at a committee stage. Furthermore, a number of new points have been drawn to my attention which I believe will justify my having a rethink on the issue. I thus support the motion on the Order Paper.


Mr Chairman, during the second reading debate I explained the reasons for the necessity of this legislation very clearly. I listened in turn with great attention to the hon members and I have exceptional comprehension especially for the hon member for Yeoville who not only took the trouble of placing amendments on the Order Paper but also came to discuss the matter with me.

The hon member’s problem is naturally that he has to deal with a matter of general legal technicality whereas mine is of a practical nature. It appears to me that hon members of the Opposition will not realize that this legislation is necessary, not to deal with general matters, but with one specific practical problem—namely Kubus Kwekery. It deals with one problem, with one person because—the hon member for Brakpan could do well to note this—there is only one shareholder.

I explained it clearly in my second reading speech that what was proposed represented drastic measures. I quote from my second reading speech:

… in certain respects contrary to general accepted legal practice … however, I am convinced that under the present exceptional circumstances such measures are completely justified.

This therefore deals with a quite specific case.

I hope that it will not even be necessary to use this legislation because there is a provisional winding-up. It may therefore possibly be unnecessary to use the legislation. On the other hand, it may well be necessary and that is why I cannot accede to the hon member’s request to refer the legislation to the committee.

I took the trouble to have the amendments placed on the Order Paper by the hon member examined very thoroughly. In fact the hon member wishes to amend the Act in such a way as to place restrictions on the Minister which will in no way assist him to escape the difficult problems of the current legal processes. No matter how deeply hon members on this side of the House and I appreciate the standpoint of the hon member that the court should be enabled to find in matters of this nature, I have to point out that we drew attention in the previous debate to the fact that the court should certainly have suitable means at its disposal to be able to act in such a case.

The court should have the required suitable legislation at its disposal and in this case the court is not properly equipped by legislation to deal with such a matter. I think the hon member for Yeoville readily wished to concede this with his resultant call actually to improve the Act. In his second reading speech the hon member also advocated certain measures to enable the court “to deal with the problem and to deal with those gangsters and crooks”.

†He also wants us to deal with the problem. The only difference between us is how we should go about dealing with the problem. Quite frankly, the amendments of the hon member which appear on the Order Paper will only place me in exactly the same position as section 262 of the Companies Act places the Minister in that after he has received a report from the inspectors, the Minister is in a position to become a party in a court case and apply for the liquidation of a particular company.

*I therefore already have powers in that the inspectors have submitted a report to me but I consider it necessary to terminate this process rapidly and effectively if this should be required.


Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?


Sir, I just wish to dispose of this point and then I shall give the hon member an opportunity.

To return to the hon member for Yeoville who last time also militated against the enormous opportunities for the legal profession to make money out of this action in every good sense of the word, I have to say we cannot stand by indefinitely allowing funds which do exist to be drained for prolongued legal processes. I quote the hon member who himself said: “It is a lawyer’s paradise.” From the report submitted to me by the inspectors it appears that one legal firm alone has already received R2 million from Kubus Kwekery.


Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is there a quorum in the House? [Interjections.]


Order! The hon the Minister may proceed.


From the report submitted to me by the inspectors it appears that in one specific case Kubus Kwekery has already paid R2 million to a legal firm. I think it is the desire of all in this House that this process be terminated speedily and fairly.

I wish to repeat that it is my intention to refer this legislation to the standing committee immediately. I shall also convey the amendments of the hon member for Yeoville and other hon members such as the hon member for Umbilo to the standing committee. I shall go further. In the light of the trouble taken by the hon member for Yeoville in making proposals to improve this legislation, I wish to request the chairman of the standing committee to provide the hon member for Yeoville with an opportunity of furnishing evidence before that standing committee and of offering him recognition in this respect. I wish to appeal to the standing committee to pay immediate attention to this legislation and, if possible, to come forward with draft legislation before the end of the year so that matters of this nature may be dealt with timeously. I shall now give the hon member for Yeoville the opportunity to put his question.


Mr Chairman, I should like to ask the hon the Minister the following question: Does he not think it is actually urgently necessary to do as the Bar Council suggested, namely to change the order of preference of the creditors, and to deal with the question of fees, because those fees are utterly exorbitant. Should he furthermore not deal with the question of the power of the liquidators to investigate in these circumstances? Even if this Bill goes through, should he not have a further Bill to make effective the things he would like to do?


I believe all these matters can be dealt with if necessary. The hon member for Yeoville will recall that my colleague, the hon Minister of Justice, invited him to bring amendments when he referred to the tariffs in a previous debate, and asked if he would support amendments …


I sent you the amendments …


No, I am referring to tariffs in general. We must not only talk of tariffs in this particular case. There are provisions in other legislation as far as the tariffs of liquidators are concerned. I agree with the hon member that this matter deserves further attention.

I should like to quote from the Bar Council’s memorandum to indicate how difficult and problematic this area is. The hon member for Yeoville quoted from that memorandum in regard to a revolving scheme and its definition. I should like to add to that quotation what the Bar Council says in paragraph 7. I quote:

Having said all this, it must be conceded that it is enormously difficult to frame a definition which will adequately cover the situation without at the same time being so broad in its scope that it may encompass entirely legitimate business operations.

It is clearly a difficult field.


No, but they say your definition is exactly …


I know. I will also refer the report or document of the Bar Council to the standing committee. They can consider it at their leisure, call evidence, and provide us with proper legislation to deal with these matters in future.

I am afraid I cannot accept the hon member’s proposal.

Question put,

Upon which the House divided:

Ayes—31: Andrew, K M; Bamford, B R; Barnard, M S; Boraine, A L; Burrows, R; Cronjé, P C; Dalling, D J; Goodall, B B; Hulley, R R; Le Roux, F J; Olivier, N J J; Page, B W B; Raw, W V; Rogers, PRC; Schoeman, J C B; Scholtz, E M; Schwarz, H H; Slabbert, F V Z; Snyman, W J; Soal, P G; Suzman, H; Uys, C; Van der Merwe, H D K; Van der Merwe, S S; Van der Merwe, W L; Van Heerden, R F; Van Staden, FAH; Van Zyl, J J B; Watterson, D W.

Tellers: P A Myburgh and A B Widman.

Noes—76: Alant, T G; Aronson, T; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot, G C; Botha, J C G; Botma, M C; Cronjé, P; Cunningham, J H; De Jager, A M v A; De Klerk, F W; De Pontes, P; De Villiers, D J; Du Plessis, G C; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Geldenhuys, A; Golden, S G A; Hayward, SAS; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heyns, J H; Landman, W J; Lemmer, W A; Louw, E v d M; Malan, W C; Malherbe, G J; Marais, G; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Maree, M D; Meiring, J W H; Mentz, J H W; Morrison, G de V; Olivier, P J S; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, S J; Schoeman, W J; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Steyn, D W; Streicher, D M; Swanepoel, K D; Terblanche, A J W P S; Terblanche, G P D; Thompson, A G; Ungerer, J H B; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Linde, G J; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, G J; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, E H; Vermeulen, J A J; Vilonel, J J; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Wessels, L; Wiley, JWE; Wright, A P.

Tellers: J P I Blanché, P J Clase, C J Ligthelm, R P Meyer, J J Niemann and L van der Watt.

Question negatived.


Mr Chairman, I move:

That the Coal Resources Bill [No 61—85 (GA)] be considered in Committee of the Whole House.

We have a Bill before the House on which I think there were sharp differences of principle between this side of the House and that side of the House, although I must say that, listening to the hon the Minister’s second reading speech, it seemed to me that at times he wanted to achieve the same objective we want to achieve in the long run, namely eventually to have a domestic coal industry which will not be regulated by the Government, or which will not be regulated to the same extent as it is now by the Government. However, I must say that he has a peculiar way of going about it. He is taking more powers unto himself actually eventually to reduce the powers of the Government over the industry.

If one looks at the comment that was received by the committee, one sees that most of it related to the principle of the Bill. There were those who were against it and wanted less Government intervention or felt that the Government should get out of the coal industry virtually in toto, and then there were those who were in fact in favour of this particular Bill. I think it would be true to say, however, that most of the comment was on the principle of the Bill and very little on the technical aspects of the Bill. I think that that is a pity and that we should learn that, when a Bill is referred to a committee and we ask for comment, we should ask people to comment both on the principle and on the technical aspects. I think that the attitude or opinion of outsiders can be of considerable value, particularly when it comes to the nitty-gritty implementation of a Bill. I do not think one can actually expect parliamentarians to be experts on every subject, particularly when it comes to the practical implementation of measures. In this particular case you will recall, Sir, that this Bill was redrafted and then sent to this House and that the private sector was not given the opportunity to comment on the redrafted Bill. I think that that would be correct. In fact, I know that the hon the Minister has subsequently met with people in connection with this.

I have put forward the motion that this Bill should be committed because I think that the views expressed by some bodies are of value. It is not my job to put forward their representations here. I know that the hon the Minister was critical of Assocom because their particular viewpoint did not reflect the viewpoint of the coal members of Assocom. Nevertheless, I think that the attitude of people like Assocom and FCI are important because they represent the views of a lot of users. We accept that we will be debating a Bill a little later in terms of which it is accepted that the user of electricity, for example, should have representation.

As I understand the new system, we are trying to widen the input into legislation, we are trying to encourage outsiders to make an input into the deliberations. I believe that, by committing this Bill, we will give those who are affected by the Bill an opportunity to make suggestions on how the Bill can be improved. I have put amendments on the Order Paper which, I think, represent in essence some of the suggestions that have been put forward to me. I believe that the hon the Minister and his officials should be given the opportunity actually to study them. In my second reading speech I made it clear that we were against the principle of this Bill. I think it would be true to say, however, that the amendments that have been put forward do not actually affect the principle of the Bill. The hon the Minister raises his eyebrows, but I think that the amendments still retain the concept of ministerial control or regulation of the coal industry. I do not think they will affect the power the Minister feels he requires to regulate the coal industry. The position is, of course, that, if we ever run short of coal, in an emergency he has the National Supplies Procurement Act to fall back on.

After what followed on my second reading speech, I want to make it very clear that the PFP recognizes that there is a role for the Government to play in regulating the economy. At times, it seems to me, people were saying that either one was for free enterprise or one was against it. That is actually a nonsensical argument, because all of us to some extent believe in regulation in the economy. I would suggest, in fact, that the very concept of a free market and free competition presupposes Government interference or Government regulation, particularly with regard to monopolies and cartels. The USA has an economy based on free enterprise principles and free market principles, but in that country there are very strong rules regulating competition and cartels. What we are really arguing about is how those powers should be used in a specific situation and particularly in this case with regard to the regulating of the coal industry.

Obviously, time does not permit me to motivate the amendments I have on the Order Paper, but I believe it is possible to amend this Bill in such a way that it will be more acceptable to a lot of the people who have directed strong criticism against it. We will eventually see that a lot of the criticism is related not so much to the principle but to the way the bill is to be implemented and to the wording. I also believe that it is possible, indeed essential, to rephrase the Bill at some stage so that it fits in with the accepted principles of South African law. I am thinking particularly of those clauses in terms of which one is forced to comply with any order, even if it incriminates one. The legal people tell me that this is something that is not all that common in our law.

If the hon the Minister does not accept that there is a need for this Bill to be committed now, I hope that he will invite comment from outside bodies and that he will consider their comment, specifically their amendments. Moreover, I hope that if they come forward with amendments that will improve this Bill, he will actually recommend next year that we reconsider it.


Mr Chairman, when the Bill was initially tabled we received a great deal of comment on it from merchants in the coal industry and coal consumers. As far as I am concerned, that comment was definitely used to amend the legislation reasonably drastically. The problem arose, however, that those amendments which were reasonably drastic and brought considerable change to the entire structure of that Bill, especially in respect of its practical application, were not tested again as regards the industry and the consumer.

The hon the Minister is pulling a dreadful face about this but I merely wish to ask him, if it was necessary initially to advertise the Bill and to elicit opinions on it, why the motion that it should be advertised again was voted down after drastic amendments by the standing committee. I think the rejection of the motion was an unwise step because subsequently it was commented upon by persons who all came up with new proposals and objected further to the Bill in its amended form.

I am convinced that the hon the Minister’s statement in the first paragraph of his introductory speech, namely that consensus had been reached with merchants and consumers, would have been true only if we had advertised the amended Bill for a second time and obtained the opinion of these people on it.

If we could have taken those opinions into consideration, we would most probably have been able to amend certain of those clauses to such an extent that we would consequently have had a better and more satisfactory Bill. [Interjections.] It would perhaps also have led to the fact that the powers—and in my opinion they are considerable—vested in the Minister under clauses 5, 6, 7 and 8 could have been tempered to such an extent that the provisions under these clauses would have operated satisfactorily in respect of merchants and consumers.

For these reasons I support the motion that this case be remitted to the standing committee for revision.


Mr Chairman, I wish to say at the outset that I cannot support the motion.

I have the highest regard for the thoroughness with which the hon member for Edenvale usually prepares himself for his participation in any debate in this House. However, his motion places me, and I think even the House, in a very remarkable situation, and I should like to explain this. I do not intend repeating the arguments raised in my reply to the second reading debate particularly since time will not allow me to do so.

*In the second reading debate the Official Opposition opposed the legislation because it was fundamentally against the principles. It is remarkable, however, that its argument was based on the fact that organizations like Assocom, the FCI and the Chamber of Mines were opposed to the legislation in principle. Its arguments were based on that because these are powerful organizations with a large representation among consumers.

Subsequently, I held long discussions with Assocom, the FCI and the Chamber of Mines. These organizations confirmed the negotiations by letter and I wish to quote only one paragraph from it:

The FCI and Assocom, while accepting the principles underlying the Coal Resources Bill, wish to propose the following amendments …

It therefore comes down to the fact that the hon members have no basis on which to oppose the legislation. Neither do they have any basis on which they can lay claim to having the Bill referred to a committee of the whole House. I accept the point made by the above-mentioned organizations in their letter because the amendments proposed by the hon member for Edenvale are basically those put forward by them.

As a result of time scales—I have agreed with the organizations on this accordingly—I am not prepared to deal with the amendments now on an ad hoc basis. We shall therefore be unable to steer the legislation through the House during this sitting. Consequently we have entered into an agreement with the above organizations and in this respect I wish to associate myself with the hon member for Edenvale and furnish the undertaking he requested at the end of his speech.

Assocom, the FCI, the Chamber of Mines and other organizations as well will be submitting a series of amendments within the next few months. I believe the hon member made a valid point when he said that when standing committees called for comment, it should not be furnished on principles only but also on details of the clauses. Without prolonging this debate unnecessarily, I should like to subscribe to the standpoint of the hon member for Edenvale. These proposals on amendments already submitted by the FCI and Assocom will be examined in co-operation with legal advisers. As soon as we receive the proposals and amendments from the Chamber of Mines, we shall discuss those as well. I believe there are amendments we can accept and after we have discussed all the proposals thoroughly, I undertake to come to Parliament next year with an amending Bill. Unfortunately I am therefore unable to approve the motion.

Question put,

Upon which the House divided:

Ayes—27: Andrew, K M; Bamford, B R; Barnard, M S; Boraine, A L; Burrows, R; Cronjé, P C; Dalling, D J; Eglin, C W; Goodall, B B; Hulley, R R; Le Roux, F J; Olivier, N J J; Schoeman, J C B; Scholtz, E M; Schwarz, H H; Slabbert, F v Z; Snyman, W J; Soal, P G; Suzman, H; Uys, C; Van der Merwe, H D K; Van der Merwe, S S; Van Heerden, R F; Van Staden, F A H; Van Zyl, J J B.

Tellers: P A Myburgh and A B Widman.

Noes—82: Alant, T G; Aronson, T; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot, G C; Bartlett, G S; Botha, J C G; Botma, M C; Cronjé, P; Cunningham, J H; De Jager, A M v A; De Klerk, F W; De Pontes, P; De Villiers, D J; Du Plessis, G C; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Geldenhuys, A; Golden, S G A; Hayward, S A S; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heyns, J H; Landman, W J; Lemmer, W A; Louw, E V d M; Malan, W C; Malherbe, G J; Marais, G; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Maree, M D; Meiring, J W H; Mentz, J H W Morrison, G de V; Nothnagel, A E; Olivier, P J S; Page, B W B; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Raw, W V; Rogers, P R C; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, S J; Schoeman, W J; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Steyn, D W; Streicher, D M; Swanepoel, K D; Tempel, H J; Terblanche, A J W P S; Terblanche, G P D; Thompson, A G; Ungerer, J H B; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Menve, C J; Van der Merwe, G J; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, E H; Vermeulen, J A J; Vilonel, J J; Watterson, D W; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Wessels, L; Wiley, JWE; Wright, A P.

Tellers: J P I Blanché, P J Clase, C J Ligthelm, R P Meyer, J J Niemann and L van der Watt.

Question negatived.


Mr Chairman, I move:

That the Report be adopted.

Mr Chairman, we are going to support this motion, but there are a couple of things I want to say very briefly. Firstly, the standing select committee recommends that a thorough investigation be undertaken on an urgent basis in regard to the legislation …


Order! Will hon members please leave more quietly.


They only come here to vote; they do not know what is going on …


They do not know what they vote for.


… and they do not know what they are voting for. [Interjections.]


Order! The hon member may proceed.


The report recommends that an investigation be undertaken on an urgent basis in regard to the legislation pertaining to trade practices, and that all interested parties be asked to submit representations. The term used is “legislation pertaining to trade practices”. That involves a very broad concept. I would like to appeal to the hon the Minister and also to the chairman of the committee concerned that they should divide their activities into two. The first and the most urgent one is to deal with the issues which are raised in the Trade Practices Amendment Bill, which we dealt with a little earlier today. This is the amendment that we dealt with during this session of Parliament and which we unsuccessfully opposed. If we are going to enter the whole field of trade practices immediately, the possibility of urgent legislation is very remote. For that reason I would ask that the first day of the committee’s activities be related purely to that issue which I could perhaps call the “Kubus Trade Practice Bill”.

The second part should deal with the trade practices issue on a far broader basis and in more general terms. The reason why I ask this is that I do not think there is actually a difference of opinion on the question of whether the fees of liquidators have to be dealt with in this type of legislation—the question of investigation and interrogation, the question of making sure that the same offences apply in regard to the Companies Act, the question of preferences which some creditors should enjoy and other creditors not enjoy, and the question of whether there should or should not be hearings if that principle is accepted at all. If that measure does not become law and we repeal it, or if it is never proclaimed by the State President, that is another matter, but if it is going to be on the Statute Book it should be put in order.

The other question which is perhaps equally important but about which there is less urgency is that of trade practices generally. The question of dealing with trade practices legislation generally and certain other legislation over and above the Trade Practices Act itself, also requires attention. I want to draw attention to one particular matter which concerns me greatly, viz the question of the freedom of the public to contract. The question of the public being continuously faced with the situation either of agreeing to printed conditions or of not being able to obtain a particular facility is, to my mind, a matter of grave concern. Let me give the House again the example of the credit card facility. If someone wants a credit card he will obtain that credit card on the conditions laid down by the bank in question, as printed, or he will not obtain one at all. One cannot negotiate. One cannot bargain with the bank. That being the case, Sir, there is an obligation on the State to ensure that all those printed conditions are fair insofar as the public is concerned.

I have drawn attention before to this issue of credit cards where a liability is imposed upon people even when they do not sign the chit but merely use the card. These conditions apply even in cases in which credit cards are stolen. In other countries in the world—for example in Canada and the USA—there is legislation which covers such eventualities.

The same thing applies—as I have indicated before—in relation to people who are ill and who go to a private nursing home. They either sign under the conditions as stipulated—which most of the time absolve the institution from negligence—or they are not admitted to the nursing home or to the private hospital. That is certainly not freedom to contract. There are numerous examples of this, Sir.

I can of course deal at length with all sorts of other trade practices that do not fall under the trade practices legislation but that have to be discussed under other legislation. I would ask, however, that that secondary aspect be treated with great circumspection. We should take time in relation to this matter. We should go into it thoroughly. That is why I welcome the fact that in this instance the public is being asked to make representations. I believe this fact should and will indeed be publicized and that we should allow all interested parties to come forward so that ultimately proper consumer protection legislation will emanate from this endeavour which is now sought to be made, which, I hope, will be made by the hon the Minister and his committee.


Mr Chairman, can the hon member tell us whether what he has in mind is that if this is split into two and the Trade Practices Amendment Bill is considered first, we will be able to do something about the Bill that has already been passed by this House?


Yes, what I have in mind, Sir, is that if urgent consideration is given to the Trade Practices Amendment Bill and certain proposals flow from it, it ought still to be possible, within a relatively short period of time, to introduce another amending Bill in order to amend the Trade Practices Amendment Bill that has already been passed. If they are divided into these two stages one can actually remedy many of the things that are causing us problems. What is more, this can still be done within the current session of Parliament, thus providing for it to be effective in respect of any case to which that measure applies.


Mr Chairman, I am quite happy to support the proposals put forward by the hon member for Yeoville.


Mr Chairman, in the wake of certain suggestions made to it the standing committee requested to be allowed to investigate the matter further. They also asked to be given time to investigate other matters pertaining to trade practices. The report which is being considered now actually represents the request by the standing committee to be allowed to investigate not only the Bill discussed here in the House earlier today but also other related matters.

I have no difficulty in respect of this brief but I do agree with the hon member for Yeoville when he suggests that the committee should give priority to the amendments put forward a few days ago. I am referring now to those amendments which were approved by this House. The hon member for Yeoville, however, also referred to matters which, I believe, do not strictly fall within the ambit of the trade practices legislation. The question of liquidators and liquidators fees is certainly covered by other legislation. I do not mean to suggest that those matters do not require attention. I do not believe, however, that this is the appropriate legislation in terms of which that matter should be dealt with.

The hon member for Yeoville has written to me in the past in connection with the question of credit cards. This is a matter which comes under the jurisdiction of the hon the Minister of Finance, and I believe he is presently devoting attention to it.


He says it is your affair!


No, Mr Chairman. It is certainly an instrument in the hands of the banks, an instrument which they have to finance. Therefore it falls under the jurisdiction of the hon the Minister of Finance. I do not think we have any disagreement in that respect between the two Ministers. However, the standing committee should feel free to investigate, or to comment on, any matter it wants to, but I should like to appeal to it to give priority to the matters concerning problems of the kind we have encountered in dealing with the Kubus culture and related matters. I have no difficulty in accepting the report. I also support the point of view put forward by the hon member for Yeoville that the committee should give priority to those matters.

Question agreed to.


Introductory Speech delivered at Joint Sitting on 18 March


Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Allow me for a moment to convey my gratitude and appreciation to the Standing Committee on Mineral and Energy Affairs for the contribution that was made to improve this Bill.

This is the fifth measure which has passed through the hands of the committee this session and I cannot but feel satisfied with the dedication and responsible way in which the committee has approached its task up to now. To me personally it was also gratifying to observe that a thorough process of interaction among committee members and officials in my department as well as the committee and interest groups was set in motion. I am really indebted to the committee for its valuable contribution and in particular for its thorough pursuit of the democratic norms on which our present State administration is based.

On this occasion it is also appropriate to take cognizance of the fact that the Bill is an outcome of the report and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the Supply of Electricity in South Africa, the so-called De Villiers Commission. The work done by this commission in connection with a very important matter redounds to the credit of the chairman, members and secretary, and on behalf of the Government and I believe, too, on behalf of Parliament, I should like to convey my sincere thanks for the competent way in which this inquiry was carried out and the valuable recommendations contained in the commission’s report. These recommendations were immediately considered and the Government’s decisions in this connection were forthwith embodied in a White Paper, which was tabled at the beginning of the session.

†As hon members will observe from the White Paper, it is the main object of the Bill to establish, instead of the existing Electricity Supply Commission, a new electricity supply utility to be named “Escom” with a new control structure. This structure shall consist of a policy-making and planning Electricity Council as well as a management board appointed by the Electricity Council.

The Electricity Council shall apart from its policy-making and planning functions, also exercise general control over the activities of Escom; in other words, the Electricity Council will be in a position to ensure that Escom is managed by the management board on a sound business basis and in accordance with the guidelines, policy and objectives determined by the council.

The proposed constitution of the Electricity Council ensures that consumers and interest groups will be accommodated in the decision-making process of electricity supply in the Republic of South Africa. It also provides for the inclusion of representatives of the State as well as other experts who are able to contribute towards the effectiveness of the new Escom. May I at this stage, in pursuance of my introductory remarks, point out that the standing committee felt that the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (Nafcoc) should also be represented on the Electricity Council. This amendment is constructive and will no doubt be welcomed by the Black entrepreneur, businessman and consumer.

The Electricity Council is charged in terms of the White Paper with a formidable task. That is, among other things, to submit proposals to the Government regarding the implementation of the remaining recommendations of the De Villiers Commission and, in particular, to give attention on a priority basis to the establishment of a tariff structure according to the recommended guidelines and with the emphasis on savings.

*After I was appointed Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs, I set myself the objective of critically reviewing the Parliamentary control mechanisms of institutions such as the Atomic Corporation, the SOF, the SFF Association, Soekor and Escom. My further objective was to make adjustments as and when these were necessary in the interests of the country. The first result of this exercise was the State Oil Fund Amendment Bill in terms of which all crude oil matters, including the Republic’s search for oil—the activities of Soekor—will be placed under a single statutory control structure which will in turn be subject to auditing by the Auditor-General and will be required to report to Parliament.

As far as Escom is concerned the question which arises is whether or not the existing financial control mechanisms are adequate. I acquainted myself thoroughly with existing statutory provisions and procedures and arrived at the conclusion that effective Parliamentary control over Escom activities was in fact still possible.

Upon receiving the report of the De Villiers Commission I nevertheless decided to direct the Electricity Council, once it was established, to institute a thorough investigation into the question of financial control over and the auditing of Escom’s financial transactions and to make recommendations in that regard to the Government. If the Electricity Council therefore makes recommendations in this connection which are accepted by the Government, they will be dealt with together with any other statutory amendments which may appear to be necessary from the priority tasks assigned to the Electricity Council. I understand that the standing committee also made a proposal to that effect. The committee therefore endorses the arrangements which are going to be made and I therefore want to give the committee the assurance that no effort will be spared to ensure that finality exists on the best way in which the activities of Escom may be subjected to parliamentary control, that is, if it is not already possible in terms of existing statutory provisions and parliamentary procedures. The Electricity Council, which will now be representative of electricity consumers in South Africa, whose direct interests are therefore involved now, will however have to express a specific opinion on this matter.

One final observation is that the Minister, unlike the situation in the previous dispensation, is now being given a direct say in policy and planning decisions of Escom and that sound interaction between the Government and Escom is being promoted in this way.

Second Reading resumed


Mr Chairman, we will be supporting this Bill for a number of reasons. Firstly, we believe it will create a better management structure for Escom, as it separates the policy-making functions from the day-to-day management functions of Escom. To this extent I think it is similar to the situation one would have in a quoted company where one would have the executive committee and the outside directors. I believe the input of that policy committee is particularly important, especially to an institution like Escom. I say this because, when I read the report of the De Villiers Commission, what really struck me was that, if one got one’s calculations wrong, the costs involved would be astronomical. The difference between estimating electricity growth at 5% and at 7% to the year 2000, for example, amounts to a figure of, I think, R105 billion. Therefore, I believe it will be particularly good to make use of this policy-making body.

We also support this Bill because it makes provision for the representation of bodies from the private sector and I believe this is a particularly valuable contribution. One of the aspects of this Bill that pleases me particularly is that Nafcoc will in fact be allowed to have a representative on that council because I believe it is very important that they should be represented there. In my opinion this is a major step forward because obviously Black consumers of electricity are important. With regard to that question, the hon the Minister has the right to choose some additional members. In the standing committee debates the hon member for Welkom, I think it was, raised a very good point to which I would like the hon the Minister to give his consideration, and that is that we have the representation of the big consumers—we have Assocom, the FCI, the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut, Nafcoc; in fact, we have the experts at municipal level—but we do not seem to have representation for the day-to-day consumers, for the little man.I know that there are problems because to some extent there is uncertainty about the way in which the third tier of government is going to develop. However, when the hon the Minister comes to choosing his people as representatives on this council, I want to appeal to him to look specifically for those who would in fact give representation to that group.

We support this Bill too because I believe it is going to be good for Escom. I should like to make a suggestion to the hon the Minister. We have already had the Year of the Aged and now we have the Year of the Youth. I do not know what 1986 is going to be called, nor do I know whose decision it will be, but I think we are going to need to declare 1986 as the year of Escom because 1985 has most certainly not been their year at all! That is something which we can debate further during the committee stage of the Appropriation Bill. I think this restructuring is good for Escom because it is positive and it will to some extent give Escom the opportunity to overcome the Rademeyer affair.

We support the Bill because the standing committee met a major problem which we in the PFP had. That problem relates to financial control of bodies such as Escom. I know that the hon the Minister—I give him credit for it—has introduced changes in regard to the State Oil Fund of which we approve. I know that he is investigating the nature of the financial control over Escom.

We of course believe—this is the motivation which we had in the standing committee—that the most appropriate body as far as Parliament is concerned to audit the affairs of bodies like Escom is the Auditor-General because he is an instrument of Parliament. I think to look after the financial affairs of state and semi-state bodies is an important function of Parliament.

It is also particularly good to have the Auditor-General performing this function. I was a member of the Select Committee on Public Accounts. I believe that that committee—now a standing committee—exercises a very useful controlling influence. The fact that one is going to appear before that committee concentrates one’s mind wonderfully and it actually makes one think about how one is spending that money. If the Auditor-General reports that one spends the money in what he considers to be a wasteful manner, one has to appear before that committee.

I think a number of the problems we have with Escom relate to the question of financial control. There was the overrun on Koeberg. Later R57 million was written off in respect of enriched uranium purchases. There were also Mr Rademeyer’s activities. Recently there was Escom’s contribution to “flower power” which upset a lot of people particularly because they experienced increased electricity rates.

I think we have to distinguish between two points. The first one is the making of mistakes or errors and the second one is the disclosure of them. The disclosure of mistakes or errors is the point which particularly worries me because, were it not for Mr Rademeyer, the public might not have known about them, and I think that is tragic. Where the Auditor-General goes through accounts that situation never ever arises because of his reports.

I know that one can say that Escom is subject to the normal regulations which apply to any company and that its accounts are audited by a firm of auditors, but there is a fundamental difference because many of the figures in that report are globular figures. Items have actually already been written off and one may not be aware of the exact position, but when the Auditor-General submits a report, there is a difference because he highlights items of that kind. He specifically draws the attention of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to them. I do not want to spend too much time on this because I think it is an issue which we can raise when the hon the Minister’s Vote is discussed.

I want to close by raising one point with the hon the Minister because I assume that we are going to have a series of Bills relating to Escom to implement the findings of the De Villiers Commission and the Government’s White Paper on it. I think this Bill is just the start and not the end of a process.

This brings me to the question of the privatization of Escom. I think this is an important issue, but I am not going to debate it at any length. It is, however, something to which I think we should be giving consideration today. I know what the hon the Minister is going to say to me. I think he will tell me that in principle he is not against it.


Find somebody who will buy it.


Well, since the hon the Minister has made that interjection, I think we must look at the profitability of Escom. I think this is a very interesting aspect and one must look at those figures very carefully. The question is how profitable or unprofitable State bodies really are, and the answer hinges on depreciation. When one looks at the method of capital cost replacement accounting, one finds that this hides the real profitability of a number of those organizations. They are in fact much more successful than the public has been led to believe.

I have seen a study prepared by, I think, the Association of Chambers of Commerce, and I think it was actually done by Prof Kampher. This study shows that for the period 1978 to 1982—in this time Escom showed an accumulated loss of R148 million—sales increased from R1,3 billion to R2,7 billion. This is a tremendous growth rate. The study shows that operating profits before interest increased from R0,7 billion to R1,7 billion, and that the cash retained after interest and finance charges increased from R590 million in 1978 to R830 million in 1982.

When we look at the question of privatizing these public bodies we must actually go back and restructure their accounts in the same way as the Receiver of Revenue would ask a company in the private sector to restructure its accounts. The benefits of privatizing these institutions are tremendous. When one looks at the cost of servicing the public debt, one sees that it is in fact one of the major costs in the Budget and that it has increased dramatically. If I remember correctly, it is somewhere in the neighbourhood of R4 billion annually. I think we would be doing South Africa a considerable service by privatizing many of these institutions.


Mr Chairman, I thank the hon member for Edenvale for his sensible speech. He made a very good contribution in the standing committee as well. He is a sensible fellow and I hope that he will become equally sensible in the ideological sphere.

The present policy and strategy of Escom derives from the Electricity Act, 1922. It is true that the Act was replaced in 1958, but it was left relatively unchanged.

The basic principles of the Act are as follows: Firstly there is a commission comprising five to seven members appointed by the State President, and I quote from section 2(2):

… all of whom shall be elected for their knowledge and experience in business or administration and, in so far as the State President may deem expedient, electricity supply.

Therefore this is a commission of knowledgeable people. This commission has the task of ensuring that Escom plays its part in the South African economy by supplying electricity cheaply and in ample quantities.

Section 14 provides that as a general principle no profit or loss may be made. This also applies to each of the distribution undertakings of Escom. Sections 10 to 16 prohibit further State financing. Therefore Escom must be self-sufficient in every respect.

Sections 17 to 19 provide that Escom must be accountable to the State. The hon member for Edenvale also referred to that. In the first place, the State President must appoint accountants to examine the books, draw up financial statements and report to the Minister. The financial statements must be incorporated in a report which their Minister must table in Parliament as soon as possible.

This is done in terms of the Companies Act, and it is done somewhat differently to the way it is done by the Auditor-General in terms of the Exchequer and Audit Act. Our committee recommended unanimously that consideration be given to involving the Auditor-General. I take it that the hon Minister will take the matter further.

I have a few remarks to make about Escom in its present form. In 1948 Escom took over the Victoria Fails Power Company and subsequently entered a growth phase which has led to its being today the central electricity supplier in South Africa with a countrywide transmission network. In fact, it provides considerably more than 93% of the country’s electricity. Towards the end of 1982 Escom was an undertaking with assets of R14 700 million, employing 58 000 employees. Its annual income was then approximately R2 700 million.

Escom’s estimated capital expenditure for the supply of the country’s future electricity needs, amounts to R27 000 million in current rand values for the five-year period 1983-87. I can briefly sum up Escom’s strategic configuration as follows: In the first place it has become virtually a monopoly. A great deal has been said about privatization, and in principle I am not opposed to that, but I question how one privatizes such a monopoly? We privatized Sasol, and that is all very well, but we still determine the fuel price. Are we now to privatize Escom and still determine the price of electricity? This is not clear to me. We simply do not have a large economy like in the USA, where one has several companies competing with one another. This matter certainly requires thorough prior investigation. However, I am not opposed to it in principle. I just want to know how the organization will be conducted under private management. The State is now passing new legislation to ensure that Escom is better managed, in changed circumstances which I am going to be discussing. I think the first step is that we should begin by getting the management in order before speaking about privatization. In the second place, Escom is the predictor of future demand and, in the third place, it is the planner of future electricity requirements. In the fourth place it is the biggest capital investor of all industries in South Africa.

One could use various yardsticks to assess the success or otherwise of an organization like Escom. It is not my desire to score points today. There are several minor things—the hon member for Edenvale was big-hearted enough not to refer them—that have occurred to give Escom a bad image. In this regard better management will possibly be the answer. If one uses yardsticks to measure the success of Escom there are two simple yardsticks that all our hon members will understand, viz that in the first place, Escom has performed its task in such a way that South Africa’s development has never at any stage been handicapped due to a shortage of electricity and, in the second place, that Escom provides South Africa with power at tariffs bettered by only four countries in the world. These four countries all generate their electricity by means of hydro-electric power stations. They are Iceland, Turkey, Norway and Canada.

I want to refer to the De Villiers Report in which it is maintained that in the post-war period—I am going to discuss this briefly—two phases may be distinguished, viz the phase 1950 to 1973 and the phase 1974 up to the present. The watershed year is the year of the oil crisis, 1973. It is argued that since the oil crisis, all the economic rules in the free world have changed. Before 1983, for example, one could use econometric models to make advance estimates but since then everything has changed, and new rules apply. In South Africa, for example, there are lower economic growth rates, a high rate of inflation, high interest rates particularly as far as Escom is concerned, a high annual growth rate of the selling price of electricity, increasing coal prices and higher wage increases, particularly in the five years from 1977 to 1982.

I am going to furnish a few statistics in order to give a clearer idea of Escom’s dilemma.

Due to rapid expansion, work in progress has become a major problem. Work in progress but not yet commissioned has increased from R323 million, or 17,3% of the total fixed assets in 1974, to more than R5 000 million, or 64% of the total fixed assets in 1982. This therefore means that the capital under construction compares with the operating capital.

As far as borrowed capital is concerned, in 1984 it comprised 74% of the operating assets but it then increased to 110% in 1982. Therefore the borrowed capital is more than the value of the assets in operation. The problem lies with the financing of the capital programme and assets on the balance sheet that are not in operation. This is not a short-term problem, as is rightly pointed out in the De Villiers Report.

The hon member for Edenvale also referred to the expected growth in electricity consumption. I have referred to one of the most important remarks of the De Villiers Report, viz that since 1974 we are no longer able to make predictions using econometric models. The De Villiers Commission found that the growth rate of electricity consumption in South Africa would probably be 5% or less in the coming years. Thus far Escom has operated on consumption of 7%. Their accepted growth rate of electricity consumption as determined by the advance estimate does, of course, determine Escom’s programme of expansion. The difference in the accumulative capital expenditure between 5% and 7% is of major importance. Up to 1993 the difference is R15 625 million. Up to 1998 it is R41 345 million and up to the year 2003 it is R105 745 million. These are enormous figures. The assumption in regard to the expected growth rate therefore has tremendous implications for the country’s capital requirements.

I have quoted a few statistics merely to illustrate that changed economic circumstances demand a new approach to electricity supply in South Africa. The capital demands made on the economy by the development of electricity must be limited, and in order to achieve this it is necessary to abandon the objective of providing ample electricity at cost price wherever it is requested in South Africa. The De Villiers Report clearly indicates that we are simply unable to continue providing power for everyone on demand, in ample quantities, at any time and at any place. We must consider economy.

I just want to refer briefly to the amending Bill before us. From this side of the House I should like to associate myself with what the hon the Minister said in his second reading speech by congratulating Dr De Villiers and his team on the outstanding investigation. This is undoubtedly one of the best reports I have ever read. It is a tribute to them that the Government accepted the report, together with its recommendations, in a virtually unaltered form. The amending Bill before us is accordingly the first result of that report.

Basically it deals with two matters only. In the first place it entails the establishment of a two-tier control structure, viz the Electricity Council and the management board. The most important details are as follows: The management board—this is an umbrella managerial board—must determine the policy and objectives and carry out the necessary planning. Apart from that it must exercise general control over Escom. An important point that we are now incorporating in the legislation and which was not in the previous Act, is that the Minister may now specify certain matters about which the Electricity Council cannot make decisions before they have consulted him. As far as the composition is concerned we have here, instead of the old commission with five to seven members, a council with up to 18 members. The council is composed as follows: There is a chairman appointed by the Minister and four top officials, viz the chairman of the management board, the Director General of Finance, a competent official of the Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs and a member nominated by the SATS and appointed by the Minister. Moreover it is of the utmost importance that there are eight consumer representatives, inter alia, those of the FCI, AHI, Assocom, etc, but what is of great importance is the fact that there is also a representative of organized agriculture.


Hear, hear!


Finally there are five expert members whom the Minister may appoint.

This is the first time in history that organized commerce and organized agriculture, which are major consumers—although agriculture is a relatively small consumer, nevertheless there is a large number of people using power—are gaining a direct say in the control of Escom.

We on this side of the House support the legislation.


Mr Chairman, the CP supports the Bill and I do not intend repeating what previous hon spokesmen have said because I agree, for the most part, with what they have said.

I just wish to single out a few matters. The Commission of Inquiry into the Electricity Supply in the RSA has submitted important recommendations which are now embodied in this Bill. These are essential recommendations that must needs be incorporated in the Bill because in recent times questions have arisen with regard to Escom.

Questions arose as to the management as well as the financial management. This resulted in a dark cloud hanging over that organization, a cloud which I believe will be dispelled by this Bill. There will now be clarity with regard to the overall management and control of this organization. We welcome this. On the face of it a top-heavy structure is being established, with a management board, the Electricity Council and, in addition, an electricity control board, but it is essential, for the purposes of electricity supply in the Republic of South Africa, that it be done in this way. We trust that whereas the Electricity Council will be given certain directives to investigate the entire structure in the future, they will in due course come forward with good recommendations that can be implemented such that the structure of this organization can be made far more streamlined.

Another matter that we also welcome is the overall financial control to which reference has been made. The fact that the Auditor-General is now also being involved will, I believe, free this matter, too, from any questions or problems that may arise in this regard in the future.

This side of the House has only one problem with the increase in the number of persons or bodies that will be involved as members of the Electricity Council. The original Bill already made provision for 17 people to serve on this body. This is already a large body which is being established to form the management and, what is more, that large body costs money. In the times we are living in we must be as thrifty as possible and not incur unnecessary expenditure. Therefore we felt convinced that the Electricity Council should not be expanded but that we should have let the number originally embodied in the Bill, suffice and that any expansion would make it a more unwieldy body and would entail greater expenditure. Unfortunately I must also just say …


The money was not your problem.


Since the hon member for Rustenburg is being so impetuous I might as well tell him that the fact of the matter is that when this Bill was initially drafted, the legal draftsmen considered that the persons or bodies who would be appointed to the Electricity Council would be people with the necessary knowledge, that that was sufficient and that it was unnecessary for other bodies to serve on it too. Unfortunately, this matter, as far as I am concerned, acquired a colour connotation in the standing committee because immediately a reason was sought why this council had to be extended and a coloured body that also had to be recommended was brought up. I said in the committee that as far as I was concerned, the body was becoming unwieldy and I was concerned about finance. However, to other people in the standing committee that was not the issue. That is why I am now pointing this out.

Save for my objection to the expansion of the body for the reasons I have indicated, the CP supports the Bill.


Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact that the opposition parties support the measure before the House, although I find it a pity that towards the end the hon member for Koedoespoort had to object on behalf of his party to the fact that—and let us use the name—Nafcoc will gain representation in the Electricity Council. There is no getting away from that. He did not mention in the course of his argument for what other body place was being made. He raised the point that the legal draftsmen had foreseen that the people whom they proposed represented adequate representation on the Electricity Council. Today I wish to express my appreciation to the standing committee for having recommended that Nafcoc should in fact be included. In this country the colour of the consumer of electricity does not matter. It is very important to me that the parties who consume electricity in this country combine to negotiate a cheaper tariff for electricity for the communities in our country. I should like to leave the hon member at that.

I should like to associate myself this afternoon with those who expressed appreciation of the De Villiers Committee, which submitted a very comprehensive report. I think that this is a piece of work that we shall be able to use for a very long time in the future. I should also like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the hon the Minister. He initiated this measure by appointing the De Villiers Committee to undertake a comprehensive investigation for us and to report on electricity supply in South Africa.

Looking now at the supply of power by Escom in the year 1932 we see that at that stage, Escom provided 30% of South Africa’s power. In 1982 Escom provided 93,6% of the country’s electricity. In 1932 the emphasis was on establishing a competent management in order to secure the Government’s investment. In 1985 Escom’s most important responsibility is a macro-responsibility, viz the executive responsibility of managing Escom on a sound basis in the best interests of the country.

Taking into account the percentage of power provided by Escom, and what Escom’s present capability, indications are that its present capability will have to increase threefold by the year 2000 in order to meet the demand.

I am extremely happy with the composition of the Electricity Council. If pollution and environmental conservation are the most important guidelines, then in future South Africa ought to be geared to building nuclear power stations only. There ought to be a movement away from coal-fired power stations. The simple fact remains that the nuclear power stations are far more favourable for the environment than coal-fired power stations.

Unfortunately my time has expired but I should nevertheless like to put forward two very important points this afternoon. The first is that we shall have to move away from the construction of coal-fired power stations. I think we must go into this matter once again, because there are many factors that must be taken into account. For example, we must take into account the availability of coal in South Africa, the fact that 54,4% of the coal exploited for domestic use is used for power generation, the percentage of coal exported and also the supply of water required for the construction of coal-fired power stations—and this also goes for the Eastern Transvaal, the region that I represent in this House. [Interjections.]

Finally I want to refer to electricity tariffs. Quite honestly, I want to say that I am very concerned about the issue of how the electricity tariffs are composed. Escom has four different tariffs, that is to say, tariffs for the major consumer, the small consumer, the urban domestic consumer and the rural domestic consumer. In terms of a scheme that has now been approved, a consumer in a rural area has to pay an extension fee of R176 per month for a demand of 25KVA—R176 per month! [Interjections.] That person has to pay a levy of R20 per month as against the R5 that a domestic consumer in an urban area has to pay. In my opinion this is not quite justified. I believe that we ought to go into this matter seriously. [Interjections.]

There is another very important point I want to raise. The domestic consumer in urban areas pays a tariff of 4,47 cents per unit. The domestic consumer in rural areas, on the other hand, pays 9,67 cents for the first 500 units; after that he pays 5,52 cents per unit. This, too, is in my opinion a matter deserving of serious attention.

I should like to associate myself with what the hon member for Edenvale said, viz that we shall also give the small domestic consumer, whether urban or rural, a say. To a large extent they are at the mercy of the large-scale distribution of electricity.

The final point I want to raise concerns privatization. The De Villiers Commission recommended that privatization should not be applied. However, I should like to ask the hon the Minister whether the time has not come for us to try to gain an indication—by way of a tender from the private sector for some of the schemes, particularly those in the rural area—of what they would ask to provide electricity to those schemes, and within what period they would be able to do so. I think that this is something to which serious attention must be given. I take pleasure in supporting the measure before the House.


Mr Speaker, I have sympathy with the hon member for Witbank who has been cut short by the Government meter-reader. He will not, however, be able to fiddle with my meter, and the hon the Minister will have to talk fast. The hon member for Mooi River who is unavoidably absent today, asked me to present certain points on his behalf. I understand that he informed the hon the Minister that he could not be present today.

Like all the other parties in the House, the NRP naturally will be supporting the Bill. The reappraisal of the whole question of the supply of electricity in the country has been long overdue. This fact has been borne out by the recommendations of the De Villiers Commission, and the Government quickly reacted by presenting the first of the amendments. We find this very gratifying and are grateful for it.

The two-tier control structure is a practical recommendation, and the broad representation on the Electricity Council is to be welcomed. In particular, the important role that the council will play in the future planning of the South African power needs, places a very heavy responsibility on its shoulders. The council will also be responsible for the determination of policy and the necessary future planning.

We note with pleasure that one of their priority tasks is the investigation of the tariff structure. This is a very vexed question. Whenever an increase has been announced in the past, people have invariably questioned the justification for it. Certainly in the agricultural sector there has been considerable doubt as to the effectiveness of the tariff structure that has flowed from the 1922 Act which has really outlived its usefulness.

In more recent times Escom’s credibility has been questioned, particularly in respect of financial control. This has only served to add to the doubts about the whole format of tariff structures. One hopes, therefore, that the fact that the Auditor-General may in future be reporting on the accounts will bring about a great improvement. The hon member for Edenvale also referred to this, and we should like to imagine that the Auditor-General would have had a lot to say, while auditing the accounts, when he got to the botanical extravaganza or the “flower power” story that was revealed as a result of a question submitted by my colleague. From 1980 to 1984 a staggering amount of R24 million was spent on landscaping, floral and herbaceous decorations, fountains and the maintenance thereof. [Interjections.] We believe, as indicated by the hon member for Edenvale, that the Auditor-General in that respect would very quickly have put an end to the gardening aspect of Escom’s activities.

There is another cloud on the horizon, a matter which we believe is, equally, going to require an in-depth investigation. That is the question of the financial control and the Rademeyer story and matters of that nature. The question in the back of everybody’s mind will be what other large amounts have been used for non-productive purposes and where other amounts may have gone that may well not have been discovered as a result of Escom not having had an adequate auditing system. In the past consumers have had to accept tariff increases very meekly and one of the requests of this party is that no further increases, including the promised mid-year increase, be implemented until a full investigation has been carried out.

Criticism regarding installation and charges in the country areas is something which has been raised for many years, particularly by agricultural unions at their congresses. In fact, I would go so far as to say that progress in the rural areas has very definitely been slowed down and arrested as a result of the policies of Escom in the past. I can recall attending a congress at which a comparison was drawn with a rural electrification scheme in Rhodesia and, even though they were hard pressed in Rhodesia subsequent to UDI, the figures applicable there were very much lower than those applicable in South Africa. The reply given at the time was that their standards were so much lower and that we maintain far higher standards. I must tell you, Mr Speaker, that in our part of the world we have recently had an extension of Escom power to a rural area which has been waiting for it for a very long time. Every time when the thunder growls, let alone when there is a bolt of lightning, the lights go out. So, as far as the higher standards are concerned, I must say that that is a little difficult to swallow. One hopes that, when it comes to the reassessment of tariffs and the rural electrification scheme, a very hard look will be taken at some previous ideas which were put forward as excuses and that the whole question of rural electrification will be looked at anew.

One assumes further that it is also a question of the responsibility of the council to issue directives to the management board as far as the productivity of employees is concerned. I have a letter here which the hon member for Mooi River passed on to me to enable me to indicate to this House the very “high” level of productivity. A farmer in the Natal region had a workforce on his farm erecting gates. The first group of workers he came across early in the morning consisted of 12 workers. They had a 4 x 4 truck and were erecting a gate. By 11 o’clock two out of the four holes had been dug and two of the 12 workers were digging gently, the rest were either standing, sitting or gently resting. At the end of the day this “dedicated” team had erected one gate. On Tuesday he found the same team, now 15 strong, at the third gate. Their performance was the same; only, since they had been overworked the day before, they now had their numbers increased and they had an extra three resting gently. At no time did the truck driver ever lift a tool—that is far below his dignity. That sort of thing, we believe, has become quite a legend. When one sees a nice shining Escom truck with all the workers in their shining overalls, one wonders just how much, in fact, they will get through on that day. We trust that this board will be looking at that aspect as well.

Finally, one of the things we expect from this council is to promote conservation of energy and electricity and at the same time encourage its use without undue demands on capital expenditure; in other words, to pay attention to the whole spectrum of the more efficient use of electricity. We believe that by restructuring the tariff scale and doing away with much of the extension fee we shall in fact come to the point where people have a far greater awareness of and appreciation for electricity, and as a result will be more inclined towards conservation. Accordingly, on behalf of my colleagues in this party we support this legislation.


Mr Speaker, I wish to thank hon members on both sides of the House heartily for their support of this legislation. I had really hoped to have a little more time as it is very important legislation. Some of the hon members, especially the hon member for Edenvale, raised a few very important points to which I should have liked to reply. In any case I shall now have to let it stand over until the discussion of my Vote when I shall reply in full to these arguments.

I should like to thank the hon member for Pretoria East for a most detailed exposition of the essence of this legislation. I should not like to repeat it but it is in Hansard and we wish to thank him very much for the trouble he took.

Many thanks to the hon member for Witbank for his share in the contribution. I think it very important that in future, perhaps far sooner than we realize, we should examine the question of atomic energy for a great variety of reasons which we may perhaps discuss as well under the Vote.

I think the hon member for Koedoespoort was a little unfair because it was provided in the principal Act that organizations like Assocom, the FCI, the AHI and Seifsa jointly could have only two representatives on the council. Each now has its own separate representative so that their representation has been doubled by the addition of two members. Now the hon member is creating great objections and fuss over Nafcoc’s representative. I think the hon member is a little unfair and his argument really does not hold water because the other admissions we have made far exceed Nafcoc’s alone from the viewpoint of posts, etc, which is why I think the hon member was not very fair.

†I support the arguments of the hon member for Edenvale and I do not intend repeating them. I think the point raised by him as regards affording representation to the small daily user deserves consideration. I shall definitely bear that in mind when I decide on my five representatives on this council. As far as accountability is concerned, I think it is very important to relate that at the moment you, Sir, also have the power to refer the report of Escom to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. Therefore that argument is not really valid, but I think it is important that the accountability aspect be addressed as soon as possible by the new council. I think that, probably by next year, we shall have a consolidated Act to prove that we are serious in this regard.

I want to thank the member for King William’s Town for supporting this measure.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Certified fair copy of Bill to be transmitted to the State President for his assent unless the House decides within three sitting days after the disposal thereof in all three Houses to refer the Bill to a committee.


It is strange that, on a day like this, time always seems to pass more slowly than usual. Nevertheless it has caught up with us now and it is a pleasure for me to announce the adjournment of the House.

In accordance with the Resolution adopted on Tuesday, 26 March, the House adjourned at 18h00 until Tuesday, 9 April, at 14h15.